"Is there a real incentive for the tenants to go to work? No!" says Gobin. "They have a relatively nice house and do not have to pay for it."
Once people are reliant on Section 8 assistance, many do everything in their power to keep it. Some game the system by working under the table so that they do not lose the subsidy. One of Gobin's lifetime Section 8 tenants started a cooking website. She made considerable money from it, so she went to great lengths to hide the site from her case manager, running it under a different name.
"Here's a lady that could definitely work. She actually showed me how to get benefits and play the system," says Gobin.
Although Section 8 adds to our debt while encouraging people to stay dependent, it isn't going away. HUD says it will continue to "make quality housing possible for every American."
Despite $20 billion spent on the program last year, demand for more rental assistance remains strong. There is a long waitlist to receive Section 8 housing in every state. In New York City alone, 120,000 families wait.
Some are truly needy, but many recipients of income transfers are far from poor.
America will soon be $17 trillion in debt, and our biggest federal expense is income transfers. They are justified on the grounds that some of that helps the needy. But we don't help the needy by encouraging dependency.
Government grows. Dependency grows.
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