General Question

GloPro's avatar

What does my income have to do with my maximum rental assistance payment?

Asked by GloPro (8210 points ) 2 months ago from iPhone

I am being moved from my current home because the city purchased the land to expand public beach access. I have been assigned a Relocation Assistance Agent, who is operating under California Code to compensate me for my troubles.

He asked for my tax returns last year in order to calculate my maximum rental assistance payment. If the California Code stipulates a certain maximum or a 42 month assistance, whichever is less, then why does my income have any bearing on my payout?

My understanding is that the government must pay the amount above and beyond my current rent and utilities for a comparable housing unit. So if my current tally is $1000 and my next home is $1200, then I am compensated $200/month for 42 months with a cap of $5,250.

Do any of you know what my current income has to do with that?

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10 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Good question, and one worth asking the Agent about. I just read through an FAQ on relocation assistance published by the Pleasant Hill (CA) Redevelopment Agency, and there is nothing in it that is income related.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

They maybe “fishing” for Section 8 HUD Housing money, rather then paying themselves.

elbanditoroso's avatar

My guess is that there is some income qualification clause in the law that deals with your relocation. Suppose you were making $400,000/year and you were being relocated. No doubt that they would NOT give you the relo assistance in that case.

But these are local laws and local agencies, and we don’t have access to all the paperwork.

jca's avatar

I would ask the Rental Assistance Agent. I am guessing that they may be reimbursed by some federal grant money or Section 8 or something. Please let us know what he says, if you do ask him.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Your income would and should most certainly have an effect on your rental assistance. Why does this surprise you? Housing is usually Federal, not state, so your scenario is a bit strange to me.

Asking us is a waste of time. Talk to the housing people.

GloPro's avatar

@MollyMcGuire You fail to understand my scenario. I am perfectly capable of paying my bills. When a property is declared eminent domain they pay the displaced persons out of courtesy, not necessity. The California Code stipulates an up front payment and a stipend not to exceed $5,250. The stipend is only offered IF my next home costs more than my current home. I fail to see how my ability to pay matters when it is not written into the California Code along with what my rights as a displaced tenant are. My income is irrelevant when the assistance is basically a buy-out.
You could say that asking any question on Fluther is a waste of time. I have no need to talk to ‘housing’ people, as I am choosing my own place of my own free will without restriction.

@jca, It’s a Relocation Assistance Agent, not housing agent. He is hired by the government entity that purchased my land. He’s pretty worthless. By law he must help find a new home for me. He lives in Oakland. He has no clue what the layout of my town is. He peruses Craigslist and sends me ads for the cheapest shitholes in town to fulfill his legal obligation. What he should do, in an ideal situation, is suggest comparable homes regardless of rental rates. My lakefront 2 bedroom condo is not the same as a 2 bedroom place in the middle of a ghetto concrete neighborhood. I have called and emailed him with several questions, to which he has yet to reply to any.

snowberry's avatar

@GloPro Sorry about the snotty answers above. Please come back and let us know if you find an answer to your question anyway.

jca's avatar

@snowberry: I don’t see plural snotty answers, I see one that may be described as snotty.

@GloPro: I understand. I know you described your situation on a previous question. I would still ask the guy, especially since he will be having your personal info (salary info, etc.). He should be able to give you some answer (even if it’s just “this is protocol”).

GloPro's avatar

@snowberry Oh, I don’t think they’re snotty. But thank you!

@jca I only clarified your wording to help @MollyMcGuire possibly understand the distinction a bit. Then I went off ranting.

@zenvelo Exactly. They provide me with packets written up by lawyers including California Code regularly. There is no reference to my income in any one of the written rights I have received. This Relocation Agent is supposed to be hired as an advocate for me, although I am sure his job is also to save the agency involved money as well.

@elbanditoroso It is actually California Law, not a local one, that dictates relocating displaced persons.

jca's avatar

@GloPro: In that case, I would question it just to make sure he’s not mistaken. I’d want to make sure he’s just not mistaken or an idiot before I gave my personal info to the guy. Saving the agency money shouldn’t be detrimental to you (detrimental as in having your info floating around their offices if it’s not required).

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