Why the Top Program to Help Poor Dallas Families Make Rent Is Failing

Robin Bobo has a steady job at a hospital, good references and a tight timetable for his apartment hunt — he needs to move into a new place right away.But he also has one thing most landlords don’t want: a Section 8 housing voucher.This slip of paper says that the federal government will pay a portion of a family’s rent each month. The nation’s largest rental assistance program, it’s supposed to offer millions of Americans a ticket to a better life — decent housing, safe neighborhoods, good schools.Yet housing vouchers work only if landlords accept them, and these days many do not. In North Texas, entire communities are off limits to these poor renters because not a single apartment complex there participates in the voucher program, one recent survey found.Families here spend months looking for a landlord who takes vouchers. They stay in hotels, burn through savings and delay enrolling their children in school — all because they can’t find a place to live.This is one family’s story.  Continue reading...

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