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Thread: FFX Subsidized Housing Tenants Live Large On Your Dime

  1. #31
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    Re: FFX Subsidized Housing Tenants Live Large On Your Dime

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    630 WMAL: Stimulating Talk – Breaking News

    That last part is the most important point made. I say sell the units and quit subsidizing folks like this. I believe this is a perfect example of using tax payer funds to bribe folks for votes.
    let me try and give some insight on this from someone who:

    1. Actually lives in Northern Virginia

    2. Actually lived in a rent subsidized property for almost two years

    The economic issues with Northern Virginia at the moment is one where there is significant individuals in the upper middle to upper class and in the lower classes, with a significantly lower portion of solidly middle class individuals. In Fairfax specifically, you're getting an extremely affluent population that are some of the richest in the country; indeed I believe 3 of the top 5 richest counties in the country are located in the DC Metro area. The cost of living, not to mention traffic, are some of the worst in the country.

    Areas like Alexandria, Ballston, Vienna, and others are built up locations with a largely affluent population that desires a certain level of quality in the life around them. You can't put in a motel 6 next to a Mariott and get a similar aesthetic quality nor attract similar individuals.

    These rent subsidized housing in most of these areas are typically similar in build, design, and amenities as the other apartment complexes nearby. In reality, many times they're actually twin developments where a singular development company will create two separate properties that are attached and share some of the public amenities (such as the pool) but one property is rent subsidized and one is not. This is actually the case for the one I was living in. These rent subsidized housing typically are $200 to $300 cheaper than the alternative. For reference, in Northern Virginia outside of the actual Metro Area (say near Dulles Airport) that’s paying $1100 for a two bedroom without anywhere close to the design layout you described instead of paying $1300. As you move into the Metro area, say in the Ballston area of Arlington, you’re looking at perhaps $1500 instead of $1750.

    The goal of these kind of houses is to allow for entry level individuals, and your people who are having to staff the various lower end jobs that the largely affluent population is going to require, to be able to potentially afford housing in the location of their employment to help out with the horrendous traffic congestion while at the same time not significantly lowering the aesthetics of the neighboring area or attracting a far lower class of people.

    You’re not seeing these apartments being rented to people at 1/4th or even ˝ the price that an equivalent non-subsidized unit is being rented to because it’s not the point and the neighboring people wouldn’t allow for it. That’s the recipe to create your typical “public housing projects” that most people think of when it comes to subsidized housing. It’s simply not the case in most of Northern Virginia, where it’s used more as a means of providing slightly more affordable housing to those who are just getting started in the area.

    These are not "poor" people living in $1500 apartments, they likely your middle class entry level individuals first going out on their own in the city that are occupying them at a slightly lower price than equivilent housing near by. The only exception to this would be people who are wrongfully and illegally occupying the rooms and committing fraud against the government by having significantly more people living and paying for the apartment then is on the contract which is terms for eviction.


    The outrage over this is a bit misplaced, and would be at least slightly more understandable if it was dealing with the situation from a realistic view point of what is actually happening rather than a sensationalized notion based off stereotypes of these types of housing in other locations.

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    Re: FFX Subsidized Housing Tenants Live Large On Your Dime

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    The problem is that if these people move up the income ladder and become disqualified for subsidized housing benefits, they lose the nice surroundings.

    It creates a perverse incentive to never get off the subsidy.
    Actually, this isn't true. I actually wish it were true, because I don't think it'd provide said incentive due to how expensive these places area.

    In reality, as long as you qualify from the start you're able to stay in that apartment regardless of how much you end up making after that point. However, should you ever more you wouldn't be able to come back because your income is higher. But I absolutely had the option to stay in my apartment indefinitely regardless of income.

    With the cost of everything up here from gas to entertainment to food and onwards, not to mention the obscenely high cost of the apartment even when it is rent subsidized, there would be little incentive to maintain the necessary income to stay in such a location. To earn under the income level needed to qualify and to pay for the apartment, you're essentially leaving yourself with very little cash to spend on any kind of extra after you pay basic utilities, food, gas, etc. It would actually be a far better deal for the majority of those living in such a location to get a decent raise, which would likely cover the cost difference between housing AND would then give you the chance to get extra disposable income should you get another raise.

    Not to mention, there are numerous little tricks with regards to this. Like most apartments, they raise the rates on current renters every year. I found out after the fact that when I left I was paying more in monthly costs than someone who was just starting in that apartment complex by almost $100 dollars. My gap between the cost of that apartment and a similar one without subsidy had lowered itself to almost $90 compared to the original $200. So the longer you stay in these type of places, the smaller the gap between what you're paying there and what you'd pay starting fresh at a new location becomes. Further lowering the incentive to stay at a lower income level if it was done in such a way.

    Again, people are basing this off of stereotypes and misconceptions from other locations instead of the reality of how these apartments by and large are operating in northern virginia.

  3. #33
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    Re: FFX Subsidized Housing Tenants Live Large On Your Dime

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    let me try and give some insight on this from someone who:

    1. Actually lives in Northern Virginia

    2. Actually lived in a rent subsidized property for almost two years

    The economic issues with Northern Virginia at the moment is one where there is significant individuals in the upper middle to upper class and in the lower classes, with a significantly lower portion of solidly middle class individuals. In Fairfax specifically, you're getting an extremely affluent population that are some of the richest in the country; indeed I believe 3 of the top 5 richest counties in the country are located in the DC Metro area. The cost of living, not to mention traffic, are some of the worst in the country.

    Areas like Alexandria, Ballston, Vienna, and others are built up locations with a largely affluent population that desires a certain level of quality in the life around them. You can't put in a motel 6 next to a Mariott and get a similar aesthetic quality nor attract similar individuals.

    These rent subsidized housing in most of these areas are typically similar in build, design, and amenities as the other apartment complexes nearby. In reality, many times they're actually twin developments where a singular development company will create two separate properties that are attached and share some of the public amenities (such as the pool) but one property is rent subsidized and one is not. This is actually the case for the one I was living in. These rent subsidized housing typically are $200 to $300 cheaper than the alternative. For reference, in Northern Virginia outside of the actual Metro Area (say near Dulles Airport) that’s paying $1100 for a two bedroom without anywhere close to the design layout you described instead of paying $1300. As you move into the Metro area, say in the Ballston area of Arlington, you’re looking at perhaps $1500 instead of $1750.

    The goal of these kind of houses is to allow for entry level individuals, and your people who are having to staff the various lower end jobs that the largely affluent population is going to require, to be able to potentially afford housing in the location of their employment to help out with the horrendous traffic congestion while at the same time not significantly lowering the aesthetics of the neighboring area or attracting a far lower class of people.

    You’re not seeing these apartments being rented to people at 1/4th or even ˝ the price that an equivalent non-subsidized unit is being rented to because it’s not the point and the neighboring people wouldn’t allow for it. That’s the recipe to create your typical “public housing projects” that most people think of when it comes to subsidized housing. It’s simply not the case in most of Northern Virginia, where it’s used more as a means of providing slightly more affordable housing to those who are just getting started in the area.

    These are not "poor" people living in $1500 apartments, they likely your middle class entry level individuals first going out on their own in the city that are occupying them at a slightly lower price than equivilent housing near by. The only exception to this would be people who are wrongfully and illegally occupying the rooms and committing fraud against the government by having significantly more people living and paying for the apartment then is on the contract which is terms for eviction.


    The outrage over this is a bit misplaced, and would be at least slightly more understandable if it was dealing with the situation from a realistic view point of what is actually happening rather than a sensationalized notion based off stereotypes of these types of housing in other locations.
    You could very well be correct Z, and I thank you for this insight. But let me ask you a question: Why should one of "middle-class" income have a rent subsidized home? I drive 40 minutes to work, because that's where the jobs are. To live closer would kick up my mortgage/rent from $700 to nearly $1500. Maybe I lack understanding because I believe people should live where they can afford, and only get help if they REALLY CANNOT afford. Housing for convenience is IMHO, a waste of tax payers money.
    Climate, changes. It takes a particularly uneducated population to buy into the idea that it's their fault climate is changing and further political solutions can fix it.



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    Re: FFX Subsidized Housing Tenants Live Large On Your Dime

    Strangely enough, living in the same city area you work in Northern Virginia could still be a 40 minute commute. For example, I live roughly 8 miles from my work and generally that's a 30 minutes commute if traffic is normal and I'm not even in the dense metro region but just outside of it.

    To get to a location of the Northern Virginia region where you're honestly going to find say a 2 bedroom at $900 or less you're looking at a 2 to 2 1/2 hour commute into places like Arlington.

    Because of the wealth that you find in Fairfax, Arlington, and some of these other NOVA counties the prices for just about everything skyrocket. But the need for entry level and "blue color" low end work doesn't just vanish. However, its just not realistic to expect people to be driving an hour and a half to two hours twice a day to go to work. It would damage the job market in Northern VA and likely hurt the local economy. And in reality, with the cost of gas, you'd be losing a lot of the "savings" you had in a cheaper apartment in paying for the gas money every day.

    To give you insight into what I mean in regards to the wealth of the areas pushing it up. The top 3 highest income locatiosn in the United States are the City of Falls Church, Loudoun County, and Fairfax County sitting at 1 through 3 respectively. The city of Fairfax joins it them at #10 with Arlington on its heels at #11. Stafford and Prince William come in next at #15 and #16. All told, of the top 20, the Northern Virginia area has 7 of the listings which is double that of the next closest state. Add in Maryland to the equation for the entire Metro area and you're looking at over half of the top 20 median incomes in the nation. So when you're "average" person is making $90k a year, prices by and large reflect that.

    I agree with you on the generalized view Mr V. I also realize there are realities that are different in different areas. You're not going to take an entry level job with DynCorp or Raytheon or the federal government making $38,000 a year before taxes when your options are either to have almost 1/2 of your pretax income going just to rent or having a 1/4 going to rent and almost another 1/4th going to gas and car maintence with your 1 1/2 hour to 2 hour commute. Things like this are done by the local and federal governments as a means of attempting to attract new to the field professionals to the area, keep people from the area in area, and improve the quality of life for all.

    I think in general giving housing to people is a waste of tax payer money. That said, I think the benefit compared to the cost is on the side of the tax payers in this particular instance, and because its mostly giving a slight discounted rate rather than giving a significantly subsidized cost I think its not as bad. My reaction would be far different if they were getting a $1700 apartment for $850 rather than getting it for like $1500.

    But again, I don't have an issue with people disliking this on principle regardless of other factors. I can at least understand that. But I wanted to fix some of the misconceptions that this was something like people getting "luxury' apartments pretty much just on tax payer dime, or that these apartments were having all kinds of amenities when its likely sharing it with another full pay location, and other such things. For a lot of areas here here, your option of choosing to drive to work in 30 to 40 minutes WOULD be the $1500 a month option.

    Now don't take me wrong, yes...there are affordable housing in Northern VA. Not EVERYTHING is gigantically priced. Or, well let me rephrase, not everything is AS gigantically priced. However, as I said, economically these things are most geared at your middle class, not lower class, individuals who they need and want to enter into these areas but in general can't afford it with the entry jobs they'd get and thus the localities have to find a way to make it more attractive and possible for those types.

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    Re: FFX Subsidized Housing Tenants Live Large On Your Dime

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    These rent subsidized housing typically are $200 to $300 cheaper than the alternative. For reference, in Northern Virginia outside of the actual Metro Area (say near Dulles Airport) that’s paying $1100 for a two bedroom without anywhere close to the design layout you described instead of paying $1300. As you move into the Metro area, say in the Ballston area of Arlington, you’re looking at perhaps $1500 instead of $1750.
    Damn, maybe I need to move to Arlington. Here in Cleveland Park (northwest DC) I'm paying almost $2400 a month for a crappy two-bedroom apartment.
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    Re: FFX Subsidized Housing Tenants Live Large On Your Dime

    Heh, its been 3 years since I was looking heavily at apartments so I have no clue on the cost currently. I remember back then when I was looking in herndon it was around 1200ish for an average 2 bedroom in herndon and about 1800 closer in. But yeah, I heard as crazy as it is going from just outside the metro area into the metro is about the same jump going from the outskirts into DC proper.

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    Re: FFX Subsidized Housing Tenants Live Large On Your Dime

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Actually, this isn't true. I actually wish it were true, because I don't think it'd provide said incentive due to how expensive these places area.

    In reality, as long as you qualify from the start you're able to stay in that apartment regardless of how much you end up making after that point. However, should you ever more you wouldn't be able to come back because your income is higher. But I absolutely had the option to stay in my apartment indefinitely regardless of income.

    With the cost of everything up here from gas to entertainment to food and onwards, not to mention the obscenely high cost of the apartment even when it is rent subsidized, there would be little incentive to maintain the necessary income to stay in such a location. To earn under the income level needed to qualify and to pay for the apartment, you're essentially leaving yourself with very little cash to spend on any kind of extra after you pay basic utilities, food, gas, etc. It would actually be a far better deal for the majority of those living in such a location to get a decent raise, which would likely cover the cost difference between housing AND would then give you the chance to get extra disposable income should you get another raise.

    Not to mention, there are numerous little tricks with regards to this. Like most apartments, they raise the rates on current renters every year. I found out after the fact that when I left I was paying more in monthly costs than someone who was just starting in that apartment complex by almost $100 dollars. My gap between the cost of that apartment and a similar one without subsidy had lowered itself to almost $90 compared to the original $200. So the longer you stay in these type of places, the smaller the gap between what you're paying there and what you'd pay starting fresh at a new location becomes. Further lowering the incentive to stay at a lower income level if it was done in such a way.

    Again, people are basing this off of stereotypes and misconceptions from other locations instead of the reality of how these apartments by and large are operating in northern virginia.
    Here subsidized housing is about half as much as normal rates and normal rates are in the $450-650 range for a 2 bedroom.
    That is definitely different from what goes on here.

    $1500 for a 2 bedroom, insane.
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