Many People in My Neighborhood Do Not Like Section 8
In some counties in Maryland, a landlord can not rule out a renter because the renter would be using section 8. They can rule them out for other reasons such as a bad criminal background or extremely bad credit, but not for section 8 by itself.
However, there are some counties that do not have this law for landlords. Baltimore County is one of the counties where a landlord can still reject a renter simply because they are using a section 8 voucher. In fact, the Baltimore County legislature voted 5 to 1 against stating that landlords could not reject a renter for using a section 8 voucher.
One legislator stated that section 8 simply relocates poverty from one neighborhood to another. He is wrong. Section 8 allows for people to get out of poverty, albeit with a government assistance program.
When people hear about a crime in my relatively low crime neighborhood, several people invariably state that it is because "section 8" people have moved into the neighborhood. This is in spite of the fact that no correlation has been drawn between the two events and in spite of the fact that the criminals, when caught, are usually not found to be using section 8.
My neighborhood is primarily White and some people, within my neighborhood, incorrectly use the term section 8 to refer to people of color. For instance, a Black family will move into the neighborhood and without fail people will start to mutter about section 8 moving into the neighborhood. They are wrong. Section 8 does not discriminate such that only people of color are selected for the program. The selection is primarily based on income. The Black family might actually be purchasing the property. If a White family moved in and was actually using section 8, no one would ever suspect it.
Some people believe that section 8 easily allows for "illegal aliens" to move into the neighborhood. They start to state trumpian slogans like "Build the wall" or "MAGA 2020". But, they are wrong again. Section 8 requires that the renter be a citizen.
There is a new development of townhouses being developed in the neighborhood. This started a discussion about section 8 housing coming into the neighborhood. The starting price for these townhouses is $399,000, which is far above an amount where section 8 would be affordable, even though it can be quite generous in what it pays for rent. Typically section 8 is for rentals, however it can be used for purchases, but not in this price category. Again, these people are misinformed.
It is okay to not be in favor of having a program like section 8 in the first place, but when it does exist, it would be worthwhile to actually understand what it does and what it does not do, instead of ignorantly blaming it for the ills of society.