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HUD Orders Public Housing Tenants to Volunteer

by Intro., Fox News Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 6:14 AM

While California Republicans are lining up for their FEMA handouts others are loosing benefits. Here is another example with the HUD program. People who take part in the HUD program are forced to work eight hours a month for the benefit, as if they are not already tired and struggling!

HUD Orders Public Housing Tenants to Volunteer

Thursday, October 30, 2003



Enacting a measure first approved in 2002 fiscal year legislation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (search) is ordering residents in government-assisted housing to volunteer their time or lose their home.

Under the new rule that went into effect this month, HUD is requiring eligible residents to contribute eight hours a month to community service projects and/or self-sufficiency programs.

HUD says the goal is to help make revitalized public housing communities more resilient and livable. Many of the service projects are designed to directly benefit the community ordered to contribute.

But some residents say they aren't pleased with the new rule.

"I live my life just like everybody else, you know?" said Regina Morgan, a resident of public housing and mother of four. "The fact that you are tying it into my lease, that is inhumane."

But supporters of the program say residents shouldn't look at the service as a mandatory requirement, but as an opportunity they can capitalize on.

"Any skills that you can pick up in any way are often very good, and can be used in a constructive way," said Khari Enaharo of the Columbus, Ohio, Housing Authority.

About 2 million residents will be affected by the new rule, and will be required to fill out a form similar to a time sheet and having counselors or administrators sign off on it. Local public housing authorities are responsible for notifying residents about their requirements and available opportunities, and for tracking resident participation. If residents refuse to participate, they can face eviction.

Disabled and elderly residents are exempted from the requirement as are residents already working more than 30 hours a week.

Government requirements linked to entitlement programs like HUD's community service program or the work requirement included in 1996 welfare reauthorization legislation are not new, and have been credited with putting thousands of people back to work and taking them off the public dole.

"People certainly have some obligation to give something back in exchange for what they receive," said Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute (search).

At least one resident said she is happy to participate, not only for her own self-improvement, but to demonstrate to everyone else that she can make a difference.

"It's a great opportunity. It gives you skills. You are helping, giving back to the community as well as living in the community," said public housing resident Michelle Norwood.

Morgan disagreed.

"If you are made to do something, you are not going to like it. You are not going to enjoy it. You are not going to come out better because of the experience," she said.

Even those who said recipients of public aid should pay something back in exchange for their benefits said no one should mistake community service programs for volunteerism.

"This is not volunteer," Tanner said. "This is mandatory work and we really shouldn't try to confuse the two. This is very much like workfare."

Fox News' Steve Brown contributed to this report.

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 9 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
what next the workhouses or draft Floyd Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 8:01 AM
HUD Housing Residents 480 min. Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 1:13 PM
last poster Coriander Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 8:23 PM
they shouldn't call it volunteering it may get worse Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 8:40 PM
HUD ruling is good govt housing Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 8:51 PM
Maintenance Simon Legree Saturday, Nov. 01, 2003 at 2:42 PM
What is 8 hours D Beasley Friday, Nov. 07, 2003 at 7:42 PM
HUD VOLUNTEER WORK Deborah Scoggins Wednesday, Jul. 30, 2008 at 4:53 PM
stay at home moms tia Wednesday, Jun. 27, 2012 at 6:05 PM

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