Rental assistance

EDITOR, The Tribune.

Navigating one's way through the sweltering heat of hardship is no easy undertaking. An unduly harsh economic climate, reduced work hours and the myriad of uncertainty that surrounds and assails the poor and marginalised in this country can be daunting.

The conditions listed above, all sent me running to Social Services for cover and for rental assistance. And now, almost six months later, I'm hopefully nearing the final stretch of a dark tunnel awaiting rental assistance!

There's a policy in place, I understand, where an entity informs the landlord that the monies have been deposited on his bank account; while there are no simultaneous heads up given to the tenants! If it's good for the goose, should it not also be good for the gander who made application in the first place? Is Social Services operating under the illusion that all landlords are decent, caring and conscientious business people looking out only for the good of his fellow man? I say a thousand times no!! Some landlords are unscrupulous, manipulative overbearing and calculating individuals. We all hear the stories!

Social Services needs to take off its shades, remove the blinders, open their eyes and take a good look around. Are you telling me you believe some landlords won't take that money and deny that they have received it? And those at the top might tell you that they have no way of knowing whether or not the landlord has received his payment as yet? And all the while they're sucking their tenants dry. They might even tell you to follow up with your case worker to see if the receipt of transaction has been passed on the case worker who is already overwhelmed with a hundred other cases and may barely remember your name. Marvin Gaye said it best when he asked: "What's going on?"

This seemingly outrageous and slow-moving covert policy seems to lack checks and balances and might be tantamount to "whistling Dixie" in the dark. I believe the system will eventually lead to frustration, madness and mayhem; and a complete and utter distrust of the system may not be entirely out of the question.

If the landlord is paid what amounts to two- or three-months' rent? Don't you think the tenant needs the period of reprieve to "catch himself"? The same person who deposits the said funds to the landlord's account ought to be competent enough to walk and chew bubble gum at the same time! That is to say send an email or a text to the tenant once the funds have been deposited.

In June, I was told that the funds were approved and ready for my landlord, but no one could say when it would be deposited to his account. But in the same breath they would say, if you're evicted tell us quickly!!I Can understand and appreciate that bit of advice, but there are also other things I can understand and appreciate as well.

I will forever have "much good things" to say about Social Services and "it's great staff" but my tune unfortunately on rental assistance and its "one-way street" will always end on a very sour note. Hopefully, someone is listening and that person does not have an aversion to other points of views.



August 13, 2021.


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