We’re “the richest nation in the world” and yet we have shit like this going on every day. One great way to stimulate the economy would be to expand the number of vouchers and expedite applications for Section 8, public housing, etc. This would provide an immediate influx of cash (via lowered rents) to people from a segment of the population that’re most likely to spend whatever they get, and it would be done via an existing program that is already up, operational, and has infrastructure in place.
Of course that all “makes sense,” so in reality these people will probably have to go hand-to-mouth for 5 years like I did.
UPDATE (11:24 PM Eastern): Officials now estimate that a crowd of 30,000 turned out, three times what they had originally anticipated. Some in attendance may have been accompanying actual applicants even if they were not applying themselves. 13,000 applications were handed out.
The large numbers indicate a huge demand, but there is literally no supply. The housing agency director “stressed that none of her agency’s 455 housing aid vouchers is available at the moment.”
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Concern is rising that a similar scene could occur Thursday when the housing authority of this small city begins accepting the completed applications. Wednesday’s event was only to hand out the paperwork. The housing authority will begin accepting applications at 9 a.m.”
More than a thousand people gathered Wednesday outside a metro-Atlanta shopping mall in hopes of being placed on a waiting list for federal housing assistance.
Fights broke out, children were reportedly trampled, and police had to stop the crowd from storming a nightclub being used by the East Point Housing Authority in East Point, Ga, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Television station 11Alive reports that the line for Section 8 housing vouchers formed two days ago and grew into the hundreds Tuesday night. People even slept outside the nightclub despite repeated assertions from the housing officials that the line was unnecessary and everyone would receive an application.
By Wednesday morning, the crowd had grown so large that East Point police began patrolling the area in riot gear and first responders were tending to people who were overheating in the sun.