He was evicted from the Clippers front office. Now he’s evicting ALL section 8 tenants from properties he owns. Former Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, like #45, is flexing his bigotry at the expense of the vulnerable. Donald Sterling is best known for making secretly recorded racist remarks to his girlfriend and being booted from the NBA in 2014. Sterling has hidden from public view until now.
ABC reports the 84-year-old billionaire real estate mogul recently bought two apartment complexes and announced to the tenants that it will no longer be accepting government vouchers for rent assistance, such as Section 8 or the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program, known as VASH.
According to the Baltimore Afro-American, Sterling purchased properties located in Koreatown. Many of the tenants in the apartment building are dependent on government vouchers. Seven of the tenants are military veterans.
“I don’t have nowhere to go, don’t know what I’m going to do,” said Navy veteran Aaron Draper, a tenant who has rented from one of the apartment buildings for six years, according to NBC LA. Draper reportedly pays the majority of his rent there with the VASH program, which is designed specifically to protect vulnerable veterans from homelessness.
NBC LA reports:
Draper, along with six other veterans who live in the buildings, received 90-day notices that the new landlord, Sterling.
“I suffer PTSD,” Joe Aguila, another veteran facing eviction, says. “It’s more difficult to sleep and concentrate on things I have to do.”
Aguia adds, “The way I see it, I did my part and fought for my country honorably. I’m going to school. I’m not a criminal. Why would you want to put us on the street like we’re worthless?”
Sterling’s attorney, Dough Walton, told NBC the company can refuse government vouchers. The company has the legal right to refuse government assistance as rent payments as long as affected residents are notified at least 90 days prior to eviction.
To be fair, refusing government assistance payments is not a clear-cut racial factor. There are a number of reasons why a landlord would reject the housing program vouchers. Many tenants do little to maintain the homes leaving the homes in complete disarray. Secondly, the government vouchers rarely cover the full cost of rent but instead pay a fraction leaving the landlord to bridge the gap. A landlord will much rather go through a private agreement with the tenant directly instead of wait on payments from the government. This way, they can set the price and hold the tenant to that.
To that respect one could say that Sterling’s move isn’t motivated by race. In fact they could say it is a business move and the only color motivating the decision is green. Sterling’s history however does leave an asterisk by his choice to deny section 8 recipients a home in his properties.