Subdivisions or Section 8 Housing: Which One Would Truly Change a Neighborhood?

| 25 Comments
orchardave.JPGAt the last planning board meeting, a property at 84 Orchard Street was denied a subdivision application. The owner wanted to build two 4-bedroom, 3 bathroom houses on three combined lots. That same property is on this week's planning board agenda again--now to adopt a resolution which incorporates that decision. In what could be considered a show of disdain for the Board's actions, the property owner has put out a sign, announcing that the house will be available as a Section 8 rental. Could this be vindictive behavior or simply a chance for the property owner to make some money during a difficult economy? 
How low would a rent have to go, though, to change the face of a neighborhood? Is Section 8 housing really a problematic issue? In an area with such high property taxes, might leasing a property for such low rent anger neighbors struggling to keep on top of their financial responsibiltiies? Tempers run high in times of financial distress but would a property owner really use this as a threat to get his way or punish the town for not giving in to his demands?
 
There is a separate subdivision application for a Barnstable property on the planning board agenda tonight. Interested parties with something to say should attend the meeting at 7 PM in Borough Hall.

25 Comments

My dad built the house from a run down shack. If he knew about this I think it would kill him. I am disgusted in the condition that the house is in.I feel the owner instead of distroying it should be fined due to letting the house being in such a neglected state. Also under no surcomstance should he be allowed to build two houses in its place. There is already one block with in a block on that street. Enough is enough.

Then they live where they can afford. No one is going to cut me a break if I want a beach house in Spring Lake.

Maybe they have jobs that don't pay much.

Why is everyone on their high horses about the Section 8 nonsense?? What matters is that the neighbor has been spared two ugly houses squashed onto that property.

How about just getting a job like everyone else and making enough money to move into the area you want to live in???

One low income family is not going to change the neighborhood.

The neighbors will deal with the Section 8 housing because its still BETTER than two too-big-for-the-lot houses crammed in...thank you for listening to us Planning Board!

It's not a good situation, agree that it stinks for the same reasons as above. Not good, brings down the whole neighborhood. I don't blame the neighbors who are probably paying reasonably high property taxes to be opposed to it.

It stinks for the area...sorry..I have seen first hand what sometimes happens. Since the tenant is not paying for it, they treat the place like crap. Since the landlord feels that the tenant is not paying him/her directly they treat the place like crap. Who suffers? Everyone in the area.

"Class warfare" seems to start with the snobby attitudes on this board. There are no ultra-rich in Metuchen, so get over yourselves. I've lived here since 1980 and know just a bit about the "rich" folk here; they aren't nearly as wealthy as they would like others to think.

Before everyone goes off half-cocked condemning Section 8 housing get your facts straight
http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/hcv/about/fact_sheet.cfm

One of the Board members gave the audience a copy of the plans. From what I could see, the plans called for a 32' wide house, that was 34 1/2 ' high. That really will tower over all of the other houses in that area.

Yes it was approved last year and even though they needed variances the board did nothing at the time to limit the size or height of the house, which they easily could have done.

true true

not for folks trying to sell a home, good for buyers, horrible for sellers

Unmarketable? Cheer up, things are not that bad.

every style of house is "unmarketable" is the current economy

unfortunately I learned last night that the subdivision on Barnstable was approved more than a year ago, and the owner has approval to build a 32' wide house (on the 50' wide lot) which has the garage built into the house. However the owner testified that this style of house is "unmarketable" in the current economy, and is coming back and wants to modify the plan to let him build a detached garage in the back, and turn what was the garage into a dining room thereby increasing the square footage of living space. The plans had too many mistakes so the Board told him to correct them and come back on March 19th. There were only three neighbors there last night.

This is a non-starter. Section 8 housing has existed in Metuchen for years, all depends on the landlord. For quite some time, a number of local classified ads for rentals have noted section 8 renters are welcome.

Isn't that sad?

Section 8 may sound scary, but having more of it available could actually be a very good thing for Metuchen. Section 8 doesn't mean slum, the landlord gets a fair market rate for the home, while the family -- which has been screened by the government -- gets a decent place to live without having to pay 100% of the rent. How many of us in these financial times might not need some help finding housing that we can afford? The government helps maintain the house, the family that lives there might tend to take more care of the place so that they don't lose their Section 8 eligibility.

This might mean that more Metuchen families who are hitting tough times can stay in town. (Maybe we could even save some coaches or team mothers.) And how about all the people who work in our stores or other businesses who work hard but still struggle to get by? I'd bet they'd be very grateful to live in a home they can afford within walking distance of work.

The only trouble I see here is that whatever family moves into that house is going to have to endure the distain of everybody who now knows they might need a little help.

Please, how stupid do you think people are?

This was done out of purely vindicative anger at the planning board decision which was supported by every neighbor of the property.

"i'll get back at them, I'll show them"

what a jerk

So if you don't want to live next to a housing project, have crime waves in your neighborhood or face quality of life issues, that's considered class warfare?

section 8 has become a code word for housing projects, crime waves and quality of life issues. It causes class warfare.
The owner is obviously angry that he/she was denied the application but I wouldn't be so quick to say it was vindictive behavior. With Section 8, the owner is assured they get the rent paid. In these economic times, evictions are way up and it's actually a good business practice for a landlord to accept Section 8 renters as they are assured the rent will be paid.

Vindictive behavior

Mad at neighbors and mad at town.

Planning Board made correct decision

Barnstable should be rejected also, that property is way too small. Owner new that going in, neighbors are against it.

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Recent Comments

  • Anonymous: My dad built the house from a run down shack. read more
  • Anonymous: Then they live where they can afford. No one is read more
  • Anonymous: Maybe they have jobs that don't pay much. read more
  • Anonymous: Why is everyone on their high horses about the Section read more
  • Anonymous: How about just getting a job like everyone else and read more
  • Anonymous: One low income family is not going to change the read more
  • Anonymous: The neighbors will deal with the Section 8 housing because read more
  • Anonymous2: It's not a good situation, agree that it stinks for read more
  • Anonymous: It stinks for the area...sorry..I have seen first hand what read more
  • Anonymous: "Class warfare" seems to start with the snobby attitudes on read more

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