Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartments For Low Income Students

October 5, 2012

Richard asks…

Discrimination claims against government over parking?

I’d like to file a discrimination claim against the city government over parking regulations near the university in my city. Here is my evidence for making a case:

If you are a student at the university you must live within a certain proximity in order to commute to classes effectively without a car.
There is not nearly enough parking “downtown” to allow everybody to drive, so it is expected that a large percentage of the population will walk or ride bicycles to classes
All of the housing near (within 1 mile – 1.6km) of the university is extremely expensive and every street is heavily regulated with either odd/even parking, no parking 1-side, or no parking 9-5 (or something similar)
If you live outside of the 1 mile block housing gets cheaper, but you must commute by car.

Even if you live within 1 mile of campus and can commute without a car, you still need a car to do laundry, to buy groceries, likely to commute to work, and for all of the other things people need cars for. Consequently everybody in IC must either own a car or have a friend or sibling with a car so that they have regular access.

We have a bus system, but it is slow, irregular, and has very few stops.

All of the grocery stores and ‘services’ are positioned 2-3 miles from campus, so that’s a LONG way to walk for groceries. Suffice to say, you must have a car to live here.

With how expensive the housing surrounding the university tends to be, few students can afford to live in apartments without roommates. This increases the population density, and with so many students and so many cars, there are insufficient parking spaces with how the streets are regulated. As it is entirely residential for a mile+ surrounding the university, it makes no sense to regulate the streets in this way.

There are no businesses that need street parking, and there is very little traffic on any of the streets to merit it. Further, all of the streets are plenty wide enough for 2 lanes of traffic in addition to 2 lanes of parking.

Here’s the situation: The city knows where the students live. They know that they have a steady stream of people to fine, and those people will likely stay for their school term, graduate, and then move out of town (or at least away from the university where they won’t have to deal with these problems).

That means that the mainstay citizens are largely sheltered for any sort of inconvenience in this regard, and being unaffected, they can’t be bothered to care what happens to the students (if nothing else than out of being oblivious to it).
What’s more, the students are often cast in a light that makes them appear to be a burden on society, and that leaves people specifically desiring or appreciating seeing us suffer things like fines and tows; many of them feel vindicated for their prejudice when they see students treated like criminals.
The regular residents will not be affected by the policies to care to change them, and the people who are affected won’t stick around long enough to have a say.
Since it’s only students, young people, and poor people who live near the university (because this is one of the only places in town with low-income / rental housing), the segregation is complete and the situation is ripe for class discrimination in a way that can be masked as something other than blatant discrimination.

In the case of parking, the streets are heavily patrolled for any cars in violation, policy is written to allow several tickets to be written within minutes of each other, the fee schedule is ramped up within a 1 mile radius of campus (where the students and poor people live), policies are written to reduce the fines you need to accumulate before getting towed, and so on.

It is a perfect storm of an endless supply of students to extract money from in a way that can be masked as “maintaining order” in a place where all of the people who could do anything to stop or change it are oblivious and you have the worst case of institutionalized discrimination in the United States.

My question is, is there any sort of legal precedent for fighting a situation like this?
I understand that many people walk a great distance everyday; people in big cities often go their whole lives without owning cars. I have lived in those cities; I have experienced those lifestyles. The fact of the matter is that every town is different, and while you may be able to get away with it in one place, you simply can not apply the same rules everywhere.
The expectation here is that everybody has a car. Public transportation here is inadequate; we do not have an effective bus system, we have no subways, and the city is largely residential with only small pockets of commercial districts at the fringes.

Attacking my character and making insulting and abusive statements is not constructive. Please do not take the time out of your day to criticize me.
The ‘working class’ and the elderly who do live near the campus own houses and have driveways. In my apartment building there are 30 bedrooms. In our parking lot there are 13 spaces. There are two identical buildings adjacent to mine and only one additional parking lot. That makes dedicated 26 parking spaces for 90 people on a single block.

There is no escaping street parking for most of the poor people living near the university.

Administrator answers:

Yeah, you posted this nonsense last year.

This is not a case of institutionalized discrimination, it is a case of “you are an idiot.” As people have told you time and time again.

Robert asks…

Affordable apartments in Indianapolis?

I’ll be getting married next summer, and my fiancee and I are starting to look for an apartment. We’re both students working part-time, so I think we’ll probably qualify for government-subsidized housing. Does anyone know of some good apartments that offer low-income housing? They don’t have to be real nice, but the big priority is that they be in a relatively-safe neighborhood. If there are some inexpensive apartments that aren’t low-income housing, that would work too. We’re looking for someplace either in the downtown vicinity or else the south side (I’m at IUPUI and she’s at UIndy).

Administrator answers:

The government does not offer subsidized housing for students.

Do you have any idea how many college students there are in the US? We can’t afford to house you all.

You can use your student loans to pay for housing. The tax payers will not.

Nancy asks…

Landlords are denying my section 8, is this legal?

A lot of idiots seem to associate section 8 with drug addicts, etc. There just simply are few to no jobs in the country, and section 8 gave me an award. So, I have a time limit to use the voucher or it will expire. The apartments in the area are flat out discriminating against me on my income level. They have idiot little kids working in the front office deciding who to accept. The policy is normally you need 2-3 times the monthly rent level in income. Having worked as a tax preparer and sat for the CPA exams, I know how easy it is to make a fake income and get approved “fraudulently.”

That said, I’m no fraud. I just want to use my government provided benefits, yet essentially my whole city’s apartments are denying me due to low income. But to qualify for section 8, you have to have low income. So in other words, they are discriminating against section 8 recipients for having low income, even though their rent is essentially free.

What is my recourse. The voucher is time sensitive, and the housing authority office itself seems to be composed of frauds who are in on something. They are almost no help at all. Almost as if they want my voucher to expire so I can be homeless.

I might add that I spent a year in law school and am now working on my 4th graduate degree and have access to student loans.

I even have advanced portfolio management skills and have some income and money in the banks, yet these land lords are so stupid and discriminatory, they would rather leave the apartments vacant.

I also wanted to mention how stupid I think these apartment complexes are for doing this because in this economy, section 8 recipients are AAA rated incomes. They are guaranteed rents even in totally jobless areas. How a complex can deny their TOP credit quality candidates is not only unbelievably financially ignorant, but I believe illegal.

Would punitive damages be out of the question?
I want to add that these complexes advertise that they accept section 8.

Interestingly, right when my application was denied today, I was also informed that as of Monday, that complex will no longer accept section 8, clearly a result of my application.
One last detail: I find this law to be most relevant:

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act makes discrimination unlawful with respect to any aspect of a credit application on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age or because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program.

They are discriminating against the type of income I have, even when they claim to accept section 8.
To Jan Below: You are the dumbest idiot I have ever read. What money? I went and go to school so shame on me? All of my studies came from student loans. I have no job, so shame on me?

Shame on you you idiot.

Who do you think you are to decide who really needs section 8 or not? I obviously need it and qualify for it or I wouldn’t want it.

Administrator answers:

Landlords have absolutely no obligation to accept Section 8 tenants. It is certainly not illegal for a landlord to decline to accept the rules and requirements that are imposed upon them by virtue of accepting a Section 8 client.

Since you have no right to force these landlords to take your voucher, you certainly have no basis to even make a complaint against them. You certainly wouldn’t be entitled to punitive damages.

Sharon asks…

I am a father. What can I expect at a custody hearing.?

I’m 25, a full-time student pursuing a Nursing degree, and work part-time in a hospital. At the time I am living at home with my mom and step-dad, it’s a big help since I’m in school. They are also terrific with my daughter.

My ex is living with another girl in low-income housing. Their apartment is often filthy. She also just found out that she is pregnant with some dude’s baby she just met a month ago. She claims they are going to move in together. I’m so worried for my daughter. She needs a strong routine, and clean environment. Myself and family can provide that.

Just wondering what someone might think a judge will say/think/do since I am a father and they don’t typically rule in our favor. Thank-you.

Administrator answers:

Next time you are at the mom’s take a cell phone with a camera and snap a few. Introduce them as evidence. Judges favor moms generally but if the place really is filthy and you can argue that it is not the right environment for a child then you will have a chance.

Donald asks…

Low budget in Germany ?

I’m a student
And i’m going to go to Ulm Germany for medical training with 4 other students.
Our monthly income is 1100 € each.
Will this amount of money be enough for us to rent an apartment for six months and travel during weekends to nearby countries by train or by renting a car ??

Administrator answers:

Things like renting an apartment or a car will be well within your budget. 1.100 Euro (did I read that right, one thousand and one hundred) is more money than many a German has as a fulltime worker. Just take care to rent a cheap flat, and there will be enough money left for travel expenses. Don’t buy a car, they’re very expensive here, and insurance costs a lot. If you only need one on weekends or for holiday travel, rent one. Trains are also cheap on weekends, check out the “Wochenendticket” at www.bahn.de.

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