More than $1 billion will be used to prevent the housing mess.
The Housing and Urban Development Department recently announced that $1.2 billion will be used as stimulus fund to support the Recovery Act of the government. According to The Associated Press, the money will be mainly allotted for prevention efforts to help the homeless move out of their situation. Some of the specific expenses are the following:
- Rent relief
- Housing relocation
- Stabilization services
- Data collection
- Administrative costs
The report also mentions, “How the money is used will vary from community to community. A program in eastern Idaho, for example, would use stimulus cash to provide one-time payments for rent or mortgages to those who are facing eviction. In Fresno, Calif., the stimulus would be used to dismantle tent cities and move residents into privately owned apartments.”
This is a good move to prop up the government’s social services programs. Not only will it help the destitute move out of their existing shelters but also raise their standards of living in all aspects. In other words, it’s a good start.
There are three things however that we should be concerned about. First, in terms of jobs, can the government provide work that would match the beneficiaries’ existing skills? Second, will these jobs be close to the relocated areas so that they won’t be forced to leave their homes permanently? Third, in terms of rent relief, wouldn’t it stir more complaints from those who have not fallen behind their monthly payments yet can’t get a mortgage because their taxable incomes wouldn’t qualify them?