10-13-2007, 06:00 PM
Sarasota families wary of federal rent vouchers


SARASOTA -- Just a month ago, residents of the rundown Janie Poe public housing complex thought federal rent vouchers would be their ticket to better housing away from the rundown apartments they live in now.

But more and more of them are opting to stay in other shabby public housing apartments while Janie Poe is razed and rebuilt.

Of the first 50 families who must move for the first phase of construction, 47 said initially that they wanted federal Section 8 housing. In the weeks since, the number has dropped to 33.

They do not think they will be able to find a decent place with a rental cap that, in most cases, hovers around $850 for a three-bedroom unit.

And they do not want the commute to work that comes with renting in cheaper places in Manatee County or North Port. :?

"You get a slumlord, and if he doesn't care about his property and something breaks, you've got to pay for it to get fixed," said Katrina Clemons, who is among those who gave up her chance at Section 8 to stay in public housing.

That was not the case at a September meeting when the excitement of leaving public housing for residents was palpable. No one raised a hand when Milton Pratt from Michaels Development Co. asked them if they would return to the new complex when his company finishes the job.

Finding housing for all 50 of the first-phase families will not be a problem, but if the trend continues, it could present a problem for housing authority officials.

They do not have enough room in the rest of public housing to absorb everyone. But officials are optimistic that most families will still take the Section 8 option.

"I would bet that most will not pass on the (Section 8) vouchers," said Bill Russell, executive director of the Sarasota Housing Authority.

"Each year, we have many public housing families who are extremely excited to finally get their vouchers and get out of public housing. The families of Sarasota vote with their feet."

But distrust was the prevailing sentiment at a residents meeting on Thursday.

Valerie Buchand, head of the Residents Council, advised them to read everything, ask questions and take nothing at face value.

"A lot of times we see things we want and say, 'Oh, I can do that. I can afford that,' but what if your car breaks down?" she asks.

Her caution has to do with the range of options Section 8 tenants have. Section 8 allows people to pay a bigger share of rent than the program requires to move into a better place.

Russell said the first few residents who opted for Section 8 are deciding to pay more.

"Obviously, they are looking to get a nicer unit," he said.

The families being relocated said that paying a greater share is a function of prices in Sarasota, not a decision for a nicer place.

Carmen Valenti, the Housing and Urban Development receiver who took over the authority in April 2005, said he warned residents and advocates alike that moving to make way for rebuilding would be difficult but that the authority wants people to be successful in Section 8.

"We need to make relocation work because in order to make redevelopment work, this has to work," Valenti said.

Last modified: October 13. 2007 4:39AM

10-13-2007, 06:54 PM
I wish George Mcginn would start posting somewhere else but here. Do you here me George? This is for law enforcement, for which you've never been part of! We all can still here you screaming like a little girl because those 2 were coming at you for taking their pictures! HELP! HELP! HELP!

Ghost of 3101 NPPD
10-13-2007, 09:03 PM
Still having trouble dealing with the media and the public in general huh? Oh well, the simple solution to that is stop acting like the citizens and the public in general, owe you something more then a pay check.

You want respect from the media and the citizens, then earn it everyday. Wearing a badge does not automatically afford you respect, nor does it grant you the moral superiority to judge others.
Most of all it does not place you in an elevated position of stating what is right or wrong outside the boundaries of law enforcement.

Being an arrogant self righteous d***, entitles you nothing more then being held in contempt and ridicule.
And you (and others) wonder why the NPPD is constantly a target for bad publicity?

10-13-2007, 10:16 PM
Being an arrogant self righteous d***, entitles you nothing more then being held in contempt and ridicule

He who has deemed himself the curator of mankind and the keeper of the North Port Police Department? LMAO!

Ghost of 3101 NPPD
10-13-2007, 11:13 PM
Being an arrogant self righteous d***, entitles you nothing more then being held in contempt and ridicule

He who has deemed himself the curator of mankind and the keeper of the North Port Police Department? LMAO!

Sorry pal you sew it you reap it.
You for got to log in as PD Knuckle Dragger.

10-14-2007, 02:32 AM
What a LOSER!

10-14-2007, 06:33 AM
I agree!

Ghost of 3101 NPPD
10-14-2007, 02:08 PM
Who am I to agree against such intellectual repartee as the last two post.

Took you what, all most three hours for that witty come back? :roll: :roll: :roll:

10-14-2007, 04:14 PM
That's the best you have loser?

Ghost of 3101 NPPD
10-14-2007, 05:19 PM
That's the best you have loser?

OUCH! Cut again by that razer sharp wit of yours. :roll: :roll:

Go back under your bridge TROLL.

10-14-2007, 10:07 PM
You couldn't wipe my a** as a cop then and you can't now sqirrel nuts!