Monday, February 7, 2005


Good piece from The American Thinker:

The United States government has caught the City of Berkeley, California in what appears to be a pattern of flagrant racial discrimination in handing out “free money” to certain lucky residents.

Although no formal finding has been issued, a routine fair-housing compliance review conducted in July by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has found that Berkeley’s public housing program unfairly favors African-Americans. The situation is bad enough that the Feds are urging the city to recruit other groups, including students at the University of California, to correct the extreme imbalance. Unless massive new money comes into the system, this would mean throwing many people out of existing housing, a severe remedy, indeed.

Berkeley’s public housing program consists mostly of handing out rent vouchers, under the Section 8 program of HUD. These rent vouchers constitute a monthly gift of tax money (most of it from the United States Government) to recipients, supplying funds to pay some or all of the rent that the fortunate few use to pay for their living quarters. The rest of us may have to live in the sort of housing we can afford. Section 8 winners can live beyond their means. Lucky are the few.
So how “imbalanced” is Berkeley’s granting of boons?

According to the San Francisco Chronicle,

15.7 percent of Berkeley's low-income population was African American, 74.2 percent of the people getting Section 8 rent vouchers and 87 percent of tenants in city-owned rental units were African American.

So 84% of Berkeley’s poor people have to make do with one quarter of the spoils of the voucher lottery, while the remaining 15.7% divide up three quarters of the loot. For the few actual housing units owned by the city, it is even worse. The 84% majority just get 13% of those, while the 15.7% get 87%. (full post)

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