Chatter: Eviction Counseling
What you said about what we said last week
In last week’s Housing Complex column, Aaron Wiener looked at a rule change by the D.C. Housing Authority that makes it easier for low-income renters who’ve committed misdemeanors or other infractions to lose their housing vouchers.
While some affordable housing advocates worry the move could displace residents for crimes as petty as being caught with a joint, in the comments Housing Authority spokesman Richard A. White pushed back: “There must be criminal activity where the household is causing a disturbance to the neighborhood, AND, the criminal activity occurred within the last nine months prior to DCHA’s termination notice. DCHA’s mission is not only to provide affordable housing to low and moderate income households, but also to foster sustainable communities. That said, a simple arrest for a marijuana cigarette alone does not meet the criteria—the trigger for termination requires ‘recent criminal activity that is causing a problem in the neighborhood, and the criminal activity may include an arrest.’ So the scenario where ‘a family member is caught with a joint’ doesn’t really apply, unless that same household has been causing a ruckus in the neighborhood, and DCHA receives a fairly quick notification of the arrest from someone (usually a neighbor tired of the situation). DCHA then would start its investigation, before recommending termination from the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Program.”
Elsewhere in the comments section, the discussion quickly turned philosophical. “Ever hear of ‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds you?’” wrote AL. “If society gives you, yes gives, subsidies, the least the recipient can do is follow society’s rules. I’m not asking for a thank you, just follow the rules.” To which Marie responded: “Shall we now start lecturing home owners on ethical behavior and social expectations? The [mortgage interest deduction] costs the federal government more than the Housing Choice Voucher, Site-Based Section 8, and Public Housing programs combined.”
Muggle to the Death
The film Kill Your Darlings has bigger problems than its star Daniel Radcliffe, but critic Tricia Olszewski nevertheless had trouble looking at the actor’s bespectacled portrayal of Allen Ginsberg and seeing someone other than a certain cinematic wizard. “Respectful of your opinion on the film, but it’s frustrating when people can’t look beyond an (albeit) iconic character,” wrote Sarah.
“Ms. Olszewski, it’s a good job that most of us can look past Mr. Radcliffe’s most well-known character, because otherwise the poor man would never work again,” wrote Emma. “Perhaps you should watch the film again and judge his performance based on his acting, rather than his appearance (which, despite him wearing glasses, bears little resemblance to Harry Potter).”
Drop the F-Bomb
It didn’t take long for Rose’s Luxury to become one of D.C.’s buzziest restaurants, but diners may need to brace themselves for some salty language along with their lobster popcorn soup. Chef Aaron Silverman not only installed a sign that reads “Fuck perfect” in his establishment; he was also quoted cursing like a sailor in an interview for last week’s Young & Hungry column. It looks like at least one reader won’t be stopping by. Wrote whistle blower: “What a bunch of potty mouths!”
Department of Corrections
Due to an editing error, last week's Housing Complex column originally summarized the findings of an American Civil Liberties Union report incorrectly. The report said black and white people use marijuana at about the same rates nationally, but did not include local data for D.C