Letter: Public housing should truly be public
Since retiring about 22 years ago, I have lived in five different subsidized public housing locations in this state, as well as three attempts to live with or in properties owned by relatives, which is the reason for so many moves.
In one instance it was publicly owned by the town in a former hotel downtown, where life was interesting and shopping easy, with good local bus service to nearby towns and hospitals. It was owned by the town and managed by the town, and the jobs it created, such as maintenance, were part of the town’s payroll. The services were good, the building kept clean and the tenants treated with respect. There was a community building close by with swimming pool and senior center activities.
There is a true need for that kind of public housing, but public housing for private profit is a fraud and scam. It not only corrupts politicians who support and arrange it for political donations, but it also corrupts the government bureaucracies that administer it. Since federal subsidies are involved, that includes HUD and FHA and state housing authorities.
Though the law says tenants have a right to organize and have input, I have found no such organization in my travels.
In one location management was by a nonprofit corporation, which is preferable to for-profit corporations. But public should be public and not just called public as a way to funnel public funds into private hands, by the millions and trillions over time.
The big private operators are well aware of this, so they try to present a small local profile by breaking up into small wholly owned LLCs. But they can’t fool anyone who knows how to use Google.