Thursday, March 13, 2008

Something's Not Kosha In Boca --Part 2

Hundreds seeking housing money overwhelm Boca Authority
(Palm Beach Post, March 13, 2008)

Okay heres the scenario--> The Boca Raton Housing Authority has Section 8 Vouchers to distribute. It advertises this wondrous event and advises that it will begin to distribute APPLICATIONS for vouchers at 9AM on Wednesday . (Keep in mind that at various locations in Palm Beach County, Section 8 (low income housing) is being torn down and families displaced without any replacement housing being constructed for those same low income families to move into).
People arrive from all over the place , some having driven very long distances (avg. price of gas =$3.37 for Regular Unleaded), some with their children. They are arriving before midnight, planning on camping out so that they can get an APPLICATION for a Section 8 voucher, which will put them on a list-if found eligible-that may have a 2 year waiting period. Before 2 AM the crowd is such that the nice people from the Housing Authority leave the comfort of their homes to come and give out 500 applications to the crowd, hoping it would keep the natives from getting too restless.
People in the know have informed me that their were only approx. 600 vouchers available, and that they did not have that many more APPLICATIONS printed to distribute.

Here's where I have a disconnect--> Knowing how bad the economy is-and I speak from a low middle income standpoint, why in God's name would you not print a couple of thousand APPLICATIONS to give to people who may be in dire straits and who have traveled long distances and waited many hours for the opportunity of APPLYING for a voucher , which if they are found eligible will only benefit them in about 2 years?
Was it because...GASP...GULP....because the delicate sensitivities of the Boca citizens may have been offended to have a mass gathering of black folk in one spot? Perhaps offended was not the right word. Perhaps leery, and scared might be more in line with the truth.
I don't blame these people for feeling murderous and for becoming defiant and challenging law enforcement. The City of Boca Raton did not plan this well. You give out 2, 000 applications, people are aware that there are only 600 vouchers available, they may NOT be found eligible, but its the chance you take. But for the City to be clueless about the kind of turn out they would have and then to resort to Police over-enforcement tactics is unconscionable. They should be ashamed of themselves.
Want to hear the real kicker? The people that were arrested, like this lady Angelica Rivera will now not be eligible because she was arrested. To see the slide show related to this posting, click here--> Botched Boca Block Party