Tuesday, May 09, 2017

PBS Frontline: "Poverty, Politics and Profit" looks at how the billions we spend on homelessness falls short

Poverty, Politics, and Profit” on PBS Frontline on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 looks at why the billions we spend on housing the homeless leaves so many in the streets.  The link is here.   Laura Sullivan investigates. The film is written and produced by Rick Young,

The broadcast starts with a curious prelude in a ritzy enclave in Costa Rica,

It says that the 2008 financial crisis threw people out of homes and added to the number of people competing to rent apartments.

It speaks of Section 8 as a “housing lottery”.

It then looks at some section 8 recipients in Dallas.  Section 8 recipients have 90 days to find a landlord who will take their voucher.

The documentary looks at an apartment complex being built in Frisco, TX north of McKinney, Plano and Dallas. The city didn’t want to allow Section 8.

The film  looked and the earlier idea of housing projects which failed, and was replaced by vouchers for poor people to move to more affluent communities with tax credits and section 8.

The documentary then explains the “tax credit industry”.

The documentary moves on to Miami and traces kickbacks and corruption (and shell companies) that lead back to Costa Rica.  One of the companies was named after a taxi driver, indeed an abuse of “reputation”.  One developer who had accepted kickbacks had to do community service with the homeless in person as a condition of probation.

The film returns to the difficult of people with vouchers actually finding apartments that accept them.

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