Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Kick me while I'm down, Housing Authority

I am so steaming mad right now that I just don't even know how I'll be able to express myself coherently. Like this week hasn't sucked enough, there is yet another installment on the screw Margalit and her family to the walls. Today I got a call from the Boy's therapist, all psyched to tell me that 886 new Section 8 vouchers were released. She gave me a web site to check out, and off I went. But the website required membership to get the information, and membership is organizationally based, not for individuals. So I do what any normal, rational thinking person would do, I call my local Housing Authority. They are asshats on a normal day, but today was well beyond normal.

First, Chantelle, the receptionist, told me that there were no Section 8 vouchers available. So I tell her again that they've just been released today, and tried to tell her about the web site, but she wasn't interested. She said that the NHA didn't belong to the consortium that was releasing the Section 8 vouchers. She didn't know that the consortium was, because I never got a chance to tell her...but that's not that important because evidentally she works with her third eye open and just knew from osmosis that there were no vouchers.

No matter how much I tried to get an explanation of why she wouldn't even bother to look, she refused all information. In addition, she told me that they wouldn't have an available Section 8 vouchers for "at least 20 years". See, osmosis again. I'm getting madder and madder and I use the word 'fricken' and she tells me she's going to hang up if I swear again. I tell her that fricken isn't a swear, I even spell it for her, but she's on her high horse now. She not only refuses to give me any information regarding HOW I am supposed to get one of these Section 8 vouchers if she won't take an application or send in anything to HUD, but she gets all uppity if I get pissed off.

So I try another tac. I ask her what number I am on the list. I used to be number one, but the NHA in all it's infinate wisdom decided I wasn't disabled anymore about 2 years ago. They never checked with my doctor, nor did they ever ask me for any substantiation. They just moved me down the list and informed me by letter. When I requested a hearing, I never heard from them again. You see what a nice organization they are? I just love dealing with them. So today when I ask for my number, Chantelle refuses to give it to me, telling me I have to call on Friday because that's the only day they have the list. How stupid does she think I am? I mention that I'm ON THE PHONE WITH HER RIGHT NOW (and yes, I did yell) and that I wanted the information now, not on Friday. She has to put me on hold because it's so scary to actually used a fucking computer and look on the list. She comes back like 3 minutes later and tells me my number is the same that it was two years ago.

Now that's a problem. Because it's a sequential list, and if I'm the same number that I was two years ago, that means that not one family has moved in 2 years. And I personally know of two families that have moved. So something is very rotten in our city. I tell her that this isn't possible, that I know people have moved, so how come my number hasn't changed. Hmmm... she's a bit stumped there. Then she tells me that's not how the list works. But that's exactly how the list works. People move out, you move up.

I tell her I'm finding this extremely suspicious, especially since I was number 1 and then pushed way down the list and now the list remains the same. When I was on the top of the list it moved but not it no longer does? Something is not right. Something is very wrong. I tell her I want to come into the office to see proof that they are housing people. She rebuffs me, but I insist. She says she has to check with Bill Henderson, the head of the Housing Authority. Back on hold I go, but guess what? She never connects me. This is a tiny office. I've been there. It's one big room. Unless he has terrible stomach problems that require a half hour with his pants around his ankles, I'm being put into hold hell. I finally give up.

But I'm not really giving up. I contacted the newspapers. I want an investigation. Since our Mayor is too hung up on building his new legacy high school to bother with small little details like the problems of the citizens of his fair city, I've also contacted the city social worker.

You see, unlike most poor people, I'm educated, I'm pissed as hell, and I'm not going away. This is outrageous behavior on the part of a tax-funded office, and they just don't get to treat people like shit because they're poor. Disrespectful asswipes.
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Blogger Tracy said...

Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.

Good for you for standing up for yourself. Good luck.

10/8/06 3:42 PM  
Blogger Lyss said...

Maybe going to the office will get you a better result. Some govt agnecies hate to actually have to face down angry citizens.

10/8/06 9:17 PM  

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