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With tens of thousands of protesters from the Occupy movement hitting the streets in Oakland, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and cities all across the nation demonstrating against the brutal on-going budget cuts and social inequality leaving families in the cold and hungry, massive budget cuts continue to devastate public housing and the nation’s social programs.
At 92 years of age, Katherine Smith of 993 54th St. is a frail elderly woman who lives alone in North Oakland, in a house that currently does not have any hot water. She is struggling against an eviction by a wealthy Danville man named Robert Rasheed, who is trying to evict her from her long-time home onto the cold, mean streets of Oakland.
In another step to privatize Berkeley’s 75 occupied public housing town-homes, billionaire Stephen M. Ross, CEO and founder of The Related Companies and 95 percent owner of the Miami Dolphins, is in talks with the Berkeley Housing Authority (BHA) to buy Berkeley’s occupied public housing through one of his companies.
Local housing authorities across the nation are preparing for major cuts to HUD’s Section 8 housing voucher programs after being directed in June by HUD to come up with lists to prioritize which voucher recipients would be dumped in the event of major cuts to the subsidized housing program.
In a plea agreement on June 22, 2011, before U.S. Magistrate Claudia Wilken, wealthy slumlord millionaire, Tiburon resident and criminal defendant Richard Earl Singer, pleaded guilty to one count of solicitation to commit arson at Oakland’s low-income residential Menlo Hotel and was remanded back into custody of the U.S. Marshal.
The tenants of Marin Way Court in Oakland have been targeted for displacement. “David Silver and Jamie Clifford of Arroyo & Coates have tried to destroy our community ever since they took over Marin Way Court on May 2, 2011,” Aiyahnna Johnson said.
Oakland voters who thought they would be spared catastrophic budget cuts by voting for the Democrats and Oakland’s Jerry Brown feel abandoned and double-crossed by the latest round of budget cuts supported by Democrats.
San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi announced that surveillance videos from the Henry Hotel reveal that San Francisco Police Department narcotics officers falsified police reports in order to justify searching residences without warrants or consent at the low-income residential hotel.
The wealthy Tiburon owner of Oakland’s low-income residential Menlo Hotel has been arrested and is facing 10 years in prison on suspicion of hiring someone to burn down the hotel, according to officials with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
I was swept up and arrested Friday night in Oakland at the end of the Justice for Oscar Grant march. As usual, most Bay Area TV stations gave a factually awful – very pro-police – spin to what happened.
"They are trying to find any way possible to evict us." “I’m under pressure to accept a Section 8 voucher, which I do not want because I will have to pay more for rent than I do currently, and I’m only getting unemployment at the moment." "There is nothing wrong with my home. It may need to be painted, but I can live around that, and there is no reason to force me out of my home. I want to stay and raise my kids."
The Berkeley Housing Authority (BHA) did not inform its public housing residents that they are protected by Berkeley’s good cause rent laws that state it is not a good cause to evict when a landlord – including the BHA – wants to sell an occupied residential rental property in Berkeley.
Public housing and Section 8 tenants appeared at the Jan. 19 Berkeley City Council meeting to protest and speak out against alleged illegal activities of the Berkeley Housing Authority (BHA) and its policies to privatize and sell their 75 public housing units to an unnamed nonprofit housing developer.
The Oakland Housing Authority recently released a “Public Notice of Project Selection for Participation in the Project-Based Voucher Program” that may have set in motion a frenzy of greed by nonprofit housing developers wanting to maximize their profits.
Currently, the OHA contracts with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide public housing to low-income households in Oakland and is reimbursed by HUD at around $500 per unit on a monthly basis. But under the new Section 8 model being promoted to end public housing, the OHA and their affiliates may be reimbursed by HUD for as much as $900 to $1,000 for the same rental units if the plan works out to their way of thinking. Unfortunately for the poor, this scheme results in the loss of Oakland’s desperately needed public housing units, and in the future public housing will be one less option for the homeless needing a place to call home.
An extra $100 million in federal funding for the nation‘s Section 8 Housing Voucher Program may not be enough to save tens of thousands from becoming homeless or cover the extreme funding shortfall beyond Oct. 1. Some Section 8 renters may soon be homeless because of massive funding shortfalls in the program.
California’s phony bleeding heart liberal Democrats have just helped to pass a Republican budget deal that shreds California’s safety net by cutting $15.5 billion from the state’s service sector to partially close a $26.3 billion funding shortfall in state revenues. The Democrats supported a $1.3 billion cut to MediCal, a $2.8 billion cut to the statewide university system, and a $6 billion cut to California’s K-12 schools. The Democratic leadership also supported the Republicans’ push to slash the children’s health insurance program known as Healthy Families, as well as In-Home Supportive Services and the CalWORKs program by cutting $878 million or more in coming months.
A family of Section 8 landlords, Riaz, Maryam and Mark Patras of Antioch, who have rented several homes to Section 8 families, are suing the City of Antioch and five members of its Police Department in federal court for civil rights violations, including loss of rental income, emotional distress, humiliation and loss of privacy. They are also alleging that the police department's Community Action Team (CAT) used rough and illegal tactics to force the landlords to evict their Section 8 tenants, all of whom are African-American.
Residents of affordable housing developments live in fear that renovation schemes will end up displacing them. To stop a new threat of displacement in Oakland, pack the CEDA meeting Tuesday, March 10, 2-4:30, Oakland City Hall Hearing Room 1, first floor.