As time progresses, the cost of living continues to rise steadily, and families are feeling the increasing pressure to find affordable housing.
Those who especially feel this economic pressure are single mothers, who do their best to provide for one or more children with little or no support. Thankfully, because of rising costs, the government has implemented certain programs that are meant to aide families such as these, as well as other individuals seeking affordable housing.
One such program is the Housing Choice Voucher program, also known as Section 8. In short, Section 8 provides rental assistance for qualifying families in homes in the private market.
This program has helped millions of people all over the country find affordable housing. Section 8 is not a relatively new program, as it first appeared during the Great Depression to aid Americans out of poverty. Over the years, the program has been amended to suit the changing times and the rising cost of living.
Before delving into the benefits single moms get from the Section 8 program, it’s important to know the origin of the assistance program. The Housing Choice Voucher program was created by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1978, which became known as today’s Section 8 program.
However, Section 8, or other variations of this housing assistance program has been around since 1937. During the Great Depression, many Americans were forced into ghettos and other low-income and dangerous neighborhoods.
Thanks to government programs like Section 8, citizens were able to find housing for their families, find work, and rise out of poverty. Today, the Section 8 program assists about two million American families and totaling over five million individuals. Section 8 works as a rent subsidy, providing rent assistance to low-income families and individuals in privately owned housing.
There are many benefits for families, including single-parent families, from receiving assistance under the Section 8 program. One major benefit is the relief from the severe economic pressure that low-income families may face. For some low-income families, finding decent, affordable housing in a safe neighborhood can be quite difficult.
Since most of the United States is free from rent control laws, renting a home or a private housing unit in a desirable unit can be almost impossible. However, thanks to the Section 8 program, families do not have to resort to moving into high-crime areas and can provide a safe environment for their children and loved ones. Section 8 doesn’t only benefit families, it also benefits disabled individuals, the elderly, and other low-income individuals.
Families who have also received Section 8 assistance have found that they are available for more opportunities. Children are able to attend schools in better neighborhoods, and caretakers have more options for employment.
Local neighborhoods and the United States as a whole also benefit from having the Section 8 program in place. For one, we have seen a decreasing crime rate, as Section 8 tenants are finding themselves in privately owned units, therefore reducing the crime rate in public housing facilities.
Poverty rates are also on the decline because families have rental assistance, they are now able to focus their budget on other necessary aspects of their lives, therefore lifting them out of poverty.
While there are so many great benefits to having programs like Section 8 in place, there are still some who feel as though these public assistance programs are a waste of money.
Realistically, the money to fund these programs and aid with rent has to come from somewhere, and it comes from the taxpayers. Some have argued that the money that is designated for Section 8 and other housing programs could be used better in other areas of community service that could service a larger demographic such as healthcare and education.
There are a few other downsides that should be taking into consideration applying for Section 8. There have been cases of landlord/tenant mismanagement. Since the laws can vary by municipality and state, different management styles can cause misunderstandings.
Also, the wait times to be approved for programs like Section 8 are notably long, sometimes taking even up to a few years to receive approval.
Finally, critics of the Section 8 program claim that bringing Section 8 tenants to local private owned neighborhoods can devalue the homes and even bring crime to the area. Yet, even with these drawbacks, it can’t be disputed that the Section 8 program has helped millions of families- including single parent families improve their lives.
The benefits for single moms receiving Section 8 are limitless. More than half of households who receive Section 8 are families with children, and most of those families are headed by single mothers.
Most, if not all of these strong mothers can certainly attest to the fact the receiving assistance from the Section 8 program definitely helps alleviate some of their living expenses. If living in a decent and safe neighborhood, these women would most likely be appreciative that their children can grow ip in a safe neighborhood and attend a decent school.
Section 8 has aided millions of Americans with living expenses, including single mothers. This program which was designed to help poor Americans during the Great Depression is still helping families today. As the cost of living continues to rise at an alarming rate, it’s comforting to know that deserving families can receive assistance to keep them out of poverty.
While there are a few drawbacks to having a program like Section 8 in place, such as higher taxes, mismanagement by tenants and landlords, and possibly higher crime rates, the benefits should outweigh the drawbacks as the program helps millions of families live a better life. Of course, there will be those who feel differently, but that shouldn’t discourage anyone applying for assistance if they need it.
Section 8 is just one of the great programs that are available to single mothers who need assistance. Any questions regarding the Section 8 laws and eligibility requirements can be directed to your local Public Housing Agency (PHA).