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I l.o.v.e. my French

My mother had told me about a three bedroom apartment that is available near her home.  She had seen a sign advertising it on her way to work.  Vilay and I went to the complex to inquire about the three bedroom apartment.  My mother knew that it is an income based apartment.  If it wasn’t then we could not currently afford to move out.  Vilay must wait another 90 days after the paperwork for my mother’s sponsorship of Vilay is returned to the USCIS before an interim work authorization will be approved. 

So, I went in and asked what was the least someone would have to pay.  She told me $0-$554.  The rent is based on your income because the apartments are Section 8 housing.  I didn’t know that at the time or I wouldn’t have bothered stopping by.  You see, Vilay can’t live in Section 8 housing with us.  If he does then I or my mother would have to pay back the rent.  He isn’t allowed assess to any means tested public benefits which Section 8 housing falls under. 

This is beginning to be a joke.  A very bad joke.

We as an American family are not able to get the same benefits as any other American family.  I am tired of people telling me that I don’t have the right to something because I am married to a non-American citizen.  I am tired that Vilay and I have to stay at my fathers house when we could move into these apartments if Vilay were American.  I am tired of waiting for my husband to have the right to work and support his family.  I am tired of not being able to live in my own country without being punished for marrying the man I love.

I keep hearing my aunt asking me before I married Vilay, “Why are you going to marry a Frenchman when it would be easier to marry an American man?” 

I answered, “Because, I love my Frenchman.” 

She responded, “It would be easier if you married an American.”

Well, she was right.

But, I still love my French.

I am willing to be discriminated against by my own country rather than marrying an American because it is easier.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • kim January 22, 2007, 10:07 pm

    that is so ridiculous..i can’t believe this crap…wtf???

  • margalit January 23, 2007, 12:21 am

    I know you’re going through a very hard time and I empathize greatly, honestly I do. But you’re wrong about section 8 housing. First you have to have voucher, and nobody, but NOBODY has been given a voucher in many many years. HUD, the organization that oversees the vouchers, hasn’t released any new ones since 2004. Plus, those vouchers that are available, through turnover, are given to people on waiting lists that have applied and have been waiting for years. The list in my small city is over 20 YEARS long. I’ve been #16 for 3 years on the list, and I’m a single parent, disabled and not able to work, raising two children on SSDI. I don’t not have your income levels either, and I don’t qualify for most of them because they are based on the federal poverty level and not what is available.

    That your family is being excluded is wrong, but you think that you would be able to just move into a Section 8 apartment without being vetted, and you’re just wrong. They check your financial situation, your criminal record, your driving record, etc. It is HARD to get a Section 8 voucher, and even harder to get one now that no new ones are given out.

    Where I live, in Boston, the average rent for a 3 bedroom apartment is around $1800/month and going up. The Section 8 waiting lists in this state have close to 30,000 families on them. This is a dire situation for everyone. They aren’t just discriminating against your family because your husband is French. The real situation is, you don’t qualify because you don’t have a voucher.

    I’m sorry that this seems harsh, but it’s hard for me, a person that has been on the lists for YEARS with no voucher, to read that you just think you deserve special services. You aren’t homeless, which is the ONLY way to get ahead on the lists. You aren’t abused, which would get you pushed up on the list. You don’t qualify for emergency housing, and thus you probably have a very long wait to get subsidized house…just like every other American family in need.

  • Pumpkin January 23, 2007, 2:01 am

    Margalit,

    I don’t know if it’s different in different areas. But, I was told that it would have been about two or three months for this particular apartment and I did call another apartment for low income before I knew about Vilay not being able to accept it…the waiting list was for six months. You don’t need a voucher if you go directly to the office is what I was told. And, that seemed to be the case for me. Maybe it isn’t Section 8 housing but I was told that it was at the office. Regardless, it is wrong. I do feel terrible for you. I can only imagine how hard it is for your family.

  • Julie January 23, 2007, 12:39 pm

    That’s so crazy!

  • Corey January 23, 2007, 10:23 pm

    You go girl! That’s right, yes, it would be easier but we love our foreign men and that is simply the way it is. Don’t let them wear you down because in the end, it is that love between you and your Frenchman which will endure the test of time!

  • margalit January 24, 2007, 12:35 am

    It probably wasn’t Section 8 housing, but subsidized housing, which is different. What the difference is can be obscure. When a large builder gets a contract to build a big housing development or apartment complex, local laws require them to put in a percentage of low income and medium income housing in order to get a building permit. In our city, the law is called 40B, and it states that 16% of all apartments in new complexes must be low and moderate income apartments. For example, we have a new Avalon complex (they’re a national builder of fancy schmancy apartments) that set aside about 25 low and mod income housing units. Those are given out by lottery to people who already living or working in our city, because they have top priority. Then they go down the list if there are any units left. There never are, but that’s the way it works.

    The price of a non-subsidized 3 bedroom unit is over $3000/month. The price of a low income 3 bed is $994, moderate is $1500. They are all the same units with granite kitchens, parking, pool, internet, etc. We’ve been on the list for YEARS for the one right around the corner for us, and we never move up the list because nobody moves out. There was recently a couple of moderate units, but we don’t qualify because we’re too poor. How insane is that?

  • Pumpkin January 24, 2007, 12:51 am

    Margalit,

    That is insane.

    Currently, we are too poor for the moderate units as well. It makes no sense.

  • Cathy Y. January 24, 2007, 4:05 am

    I think it’s crazy that Vilay has another 90-day wait until he can work. Why is it so long?!?

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