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The long, hard battle to make sure housing subsidies go to the right tenants

July 19th, 2016 · 1 Comment

ICYMI, here is my story about a recent court case, where Red Door Housing Society removed the subsidy from a tenant who didn’t report income her daughter had been getting. Now they are being asked to pay $1,990 for their three-bedroom townhouse on the False Creek waterfront, instead of $650.

It’s a small glimpse behind the curtain of the struggles that housing groups go through to ensure that people aren’t taking advantage of the subsidy system. One operator told me that some audits have been initiated when staff noticed tenants driving up in BMWs.

Susan Snell at Red Door said her organization is really rigorous about verifying income and removing subsidies if necessary, in part because they have some resources to fight the battles. She said other, smaller groups sometimes just won’t challenge tenants because they feel like they don’t have the wherewithal to start a fight.

There have been a few other cases that have made it to Supreme Court over the years — a guy at Mole Hill trying to sublet his unit for market rate, among them.

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