For The Residents Of Some Capital Region
The story about tenants, landlords, profiting in Milwaukee in 2008 to 2009 is portrayed in the Pulitzer award-winning book “Evicted” but from the perspective of advocate of tenants, Laura Felts, it is very similar to the cases Laura handles in Albany every day.
The entering executive director at United tenants Albany, Laura Felts is regularly present at the city courthouse to assist tenants with eviction issues. Albany experienced about 5,197 eviction cases in 2018. She also experienced household rife, violations of code and conditions where taxes are no longer paid and a tax foreclosure is held on the property by the city, even for tenants with a Section 8 voucher where part of the rent is being paid.
United Tenants had to intervene in a case where Isaac Espirisanto, 27 and his fiancé Jasmin Almonte, 24 were unable to pay their $550 per month rent for a two-bedroom apartment that was federally subsidized in Pasture locality along the Southern borders of Albany. They were three months short before assistance to retain their home came from Albany County DSS and United Tenants.
The couple is having two kids, Ebanna, 5 and Jaizeah, 10 months old. Calamity struck when Jasmin was no longer employed at a call center and the income from Espiritusanto’s job as Moe’s Southwest Grill cook for $11.10 in Rensselaer left many deficiencies in their bills.
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The family still experienced a precarious financial condition even after getting help. They are categorized within the $25,750 federal poverty level for a household of four people. His income falls around $20,000 and she has only been sporadically employed. They experienced a huge burden in their rent as one-third of their income is being incurred on housing expenses alone. They were experiencing a delicate financial condition. They could be easily pushed over the edge with only one unexpected financial setback which could lead to a series of eviction and absence of shelter. The difference between having a shelter or being pushed out on the street is one vindictive landlord, fire, unexpected employment disaster or flood.
Their encounter is however very common.
Mathew Desmond, the author of “Evicted” will give a speech at the Paige Hall of the University of Albany by 7:30 pm on Thursday focusing on the fundamental issues of poverty and procedures in tackling it. Registration is free.
Desmond who is currently a professor of sociology started to review the Milwaukee evictions as he has more interest in poverty and realized that eviction is not reviewed. He selected Milwaukee as a case study because he discovered that it is a basic medium-sized American city. He initially lived in a mobile home park on the city borders as a graduate student and later in a roaming shelter in the inner city. He wanted to compare the differences in the quality of life of both White and Black families. He discovered that white families get shelters easily even with a criminal history or with kids as these reasons are used to reject black families. A black American woman had to apply for about 89 apartments before she could secure one for her family of three, herself and her two sons only to lose the apartment after the police came to the apartment on grounds that one of her assaulted a teacher.
According to what Desmond discovered in the Milwaukee, In Albany, single, black American mothers are frequently seen by Felt in the eviction courthouse.
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Desmond stated in the book about his collaboration with the landlord of the mobile home park and makes rounds of rent collection with the landlord of the inner city. The book was developed absent of sentimentality without any wavering information and concisely describes the landlord and tenant without discrimination and he indicated that such a system would not be in existence without people using it for their gain. He stated that the landlord of one of the trailer parks he lived in is among the poorest and poorly maintained in the city but amassing about $444,000 every year which is about thirty times the income of the tenants. The landlord at the inner city followed by Desmond in his book visits Jamaica on vacations and has a five-bedroom apartment in a mid-level vicinity.
The executive director of Troy’s Unity House, Chris Burke also identified this city in the pages of “Evicted”. Burke stated that everybody is rent-burdened in the US which implies that 30 percent of their rent is being spent on rent. 50 percent or more is paid by most individuals who go to seek help at the Unity House for bill payments, feeding, and clothing.
Burke stated that a system where income remains the same with an increase in housing costs is the reason for the housing crisis.
Burke stated that the bad guys are not the landlords, but the blame falls on the system where people work full time and still struggle to pay rent.
The Catholic Charities, as well as the Homeless and Travelers Aid Society, are charity centers that also assist.
The executive director of the Homeless and Traveler Aid Society, Liz Hitt stated that the story is very complicated and there is more to it than meets the eye. Liz Hitt was once a homeless individual 25 years back in Colorado Springs, where she had to use the back of her pickup truck for shelter for about eight months after she was discharged from the military. She was unable to pay her rent and was evicted even after working double jobs as a house cleaner and a newspaper vendor.
Hitt stated that the absence of affordable apartments is now worse and making ends meet on minimum wage employment appears impossible and help is usually required immediately an individual gets evicted and becomes entangled in the cyclone.
The solution posed by Desmond is the expansion of the housing program in the country to offer additional benefits for low-income families.
It was indicated by Desmond in a 2016 publication for the New York Times that individuals who don’t reside in trailer parks and inner cities might believe that the public housing or other assistance from the government benefits low-income families. But the opposite is usually the case. 75% of individuals who are eligible for housing assistance don’t usually get it as it is very limited in number. Its system has an unimaginable outcome considering other social services responsible for the fundamental needs. In a situation where 25% of families only enjoy food stamps.
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Desmond indicated in the epilogue of his book “Evicted” that a large number of low-income families are seeking private rental apartments.
A general housing voucher will create a balance between the desire of the landlord and the desire of the tenant to simply find a place to live.