The Tallahassee Housing Authority is planning to open the waiting list to the low-income housing program and redevelop some public housing units. But cuts at the federal level could thwart more area residents qualifying for housing assistance.
Executive Director Brenda Williams said the Tallahassee Housing Authority’s waiting list for Section Eight housing will open for 30 days on July 1st. The voucher program allows low-income families to rent subsidized apartments from private landlords.
More than 1,400 people are currently on the waiting list. A limited number of vouchers and a low turnover rate force low-income families to wait years for help. Williams said the housing authority has just 2,100 vouchers.
“But no, we have not received any new vouchers in several years," she said. "The only new vouchers that we received are for veterans and we normally get about 35 per year.”
But a federal proposal to raise rents and cut spending could hurt veterans and others in public housing programs. The proposal gets rid of the entire veterans voucher program.
The budget proposal also slashes construction funding. That could stall the Tallahassee Housing Authority’s renovation of its housing complex on Orange Avenue. Williams said that would keep tenants in run-down apartments. She said the Department of Housing and Urban Development has to sign off on the project.
“But at this time, you know you know we’re just kind of speculating because these are proposed cuts and until Congress acts on them, it would be premature of us to act,” she said.
Congress has to pass a budget deal by the end of September to avoid a government shutdown. But some members of Congress have already criticized some of the cuts.