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Single mother slammed by housing bureaucracy

Date Posted: 2008-04-25

A 40-year-old single mother is being evicted from her Prefecture-owned apartment because she earns too much money, and her appeals have fallen on deaf ears.

The woman and her child are being forced out, and she’s angry and frustrated. “Why can’t I stay in this apartment?” she asks. “Other mothers, like those who are married with children, or whose husband is dead, or divorced mothers can stay, but why can’t a single mother stay?” She is accusing the Prefecture of discrimination, but a prefecture official says “It’s not only our decision. The rules are the same nationwide. We didn’t make the rules.”

To live in a Prefecture-owned apartment, basic income rules are calculated in four categories. Highest priority goes to those earning less than ¥123,000 per month, with the lowest to those earning a maximum of ¥200,000 per month. The single mother was being charged ¥35,000 rent because her income was low.

When she improved herself and moved to a higher paying job, the Prefecture ordered the woman to begin paying ¥75,900 per month. A Prefecture spokesman acknowledged that a divorced mother or widow can receive an annual ¥270,000 deduction from their annual total income eligibility limitation, and said “If this lady can get a deduction, she could stay in the apartment as the rules say.”

”Please don’t take the apartment from me,” the woman is pleading, “because I can’t pay that much rent at all.” She says “I don’t have another apartment, and I don’t have a husband, but I need a house to live in with my child.”

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