In south suburban Chicago, with one of the highest concentrations of voucher holders in the country, middle-class African-American residents complain that they thought they'd left the ghetto behind—only to find that the federal government is subsidizing it to follow them. Vikkey Perez of Richton Park, Illinois, owner of Nubian Beauty Supply, fears that the small signs of disorder that have come with voucher tenants—the unmown lawns and shopping carts left in the street—could undermine the neighborhood. "Their life-style," she says, "doesn't blend with our suburban life-style." Kevin Moore, a hospital administrator and homeowner in nearby Hazelcrest, complains that children in voucher homes go unsupervised. Boom boxes play late at night. "I felt like I was back on the West Side," he says, referring to the Chicago ghetto where he grew up. "You have to remember how to act tough."
In South Philadelphia's Irish and Italian neighborhoods, which have seen an influx of voucher holders, elected officials report being inundated with constituent complaints—and watching white constituents move out of the neighborhood. The area's state representative, William Keller, describes how owners of row houses suddenly find that "the house next door is being rented to people whose kids are up all night, who are out in the street yelling 'M-F' this and 'M-F' that. It's like they're trying to find the worst people." The issue, he says, "isn't race; it's class."
In Maryland's Prince George's County, an area of the Washington, D.C., suburbs with a large concentration of middle-class black residents, hundreds of voucher tenants—many of whom come from Washington, since vouchers are portable from one jurisdiction to another—do not pay their utility bills or their required 30 percent share of the rent. "We're very concerned about the program," says Mary Lou McDonough of the Prince George's Housing Authority, which doles out the vouchers. The Authority is concerned about more than non-payment. Unlike most such agencies, it screens its voucher applicants, and it finds that some of the households have criminal records—including, recently, a murder conviction. Every year, the authority boots out 25 or 30 voucher holders for brand-new crimes, usually drug-related. http://www.city-journal.org/html/10_4_l ... using.html