Here’s something terrifically unfair.
The city council will be asked tomorrow night to make a series of six changes to the administration of its Section 8 rental subsidy program. Two of them are mandated by federal requirements, and four are optional on behalf of the Agency itself. Naturally, these proposed changes were buried within an obscure exhibit attached to the specific agenda item.
Now we’ve spoken before about how when Burbank grants your Section 8 application they then demand the submission of financial statements from everyone in “the household.” This requirement goes beyond just your family — they mean everyone in the place. And if you don’t turn them all in they immediately toss your application. You’re removed from the process.
The problem with this requirement is simple. What if you just happen to have a temporary unattached roommate or two who is NOT going to be a part of your future Section 8 apartment? In today’s modern world a roommate or two (or more) is a necessity. Hell, you may barely know them!
A revolving round of stranger-roommates is EXTREMELY common in this Craigslist era of high rents and low incomes. You’re lower-income life is transitory, and they’re not coming with you.
According to the City of Burbank though, too bad. You’re out of luck. That’s your “household” buddy, and you’re stuck with it. You won’t get Section 8.
One of the optional changes proposed for tomorrow night will make this arbitrary and unfair restriction even worse. Now BHA wants the council to allow only one application submitted from each address, which means that completely independent and financially autonomous individuals will be banned from applying for Section 8 in Burbank merely because they’re roommates and happen to live at the same address.
Is this fair? Of course not. Whatever happened to that modern, looking ahead 21st-century Burbank they’re always talking about? Not only is this Section 8 policy and pending update obsolete, it’s also meanspirited.