The Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance Meeting took place last week and the big news was that CMHA is going to have to open the Section 8 (Housing Choice Voucher Program) waiting list. The last time it was opened was 2011 and 10,000 names were drawn. The problem is that the list is getting stale with most of the people on the list no longer around. They either do not respond or have relocated or are no longer in need. It is most likely that this summer they will have to re-open the waiting list for the voucher program in August or July.
Everything will be pretty similar to 2011 with the application open for 5 to 7 days exclusively online (no paper applications). Everyone in need of housing or who suspects they will need help with the rent between now and 2020 should apply. We will have more details in the near future.
Public Housing officials also attended and reported that there are 9,600 total units in the Public Housing inventory with 99% occupied. There are now 20,700 people waiting on the wait list with 70% waiting for a single bedroom. The current Public Housing list is 36% families and 23% seniors. 25% of the residents do not have income and 20% are on Social Security. 18% are employed and 17% are on some form of disability. In a sign of how trivial cash assistance is now in the world only 2% of the total population receive assistance from the welfare department.
CMHA is starting to rebuild Cedar Estates and renovate Bohn Tower and the former Garden Valley apartments. They are working on the final phase of Carver Park and renovating Riverside Park. Some of these properties are being renovated using private bank financing, which had been prohibited in the past.
The President's budget is favorable toward the housing authorities, but who knows how that will play out by October. The Housing Authority is working on how these newly created units developed with private dollars will integrate into the public housing system. This current system has the highest number of occupied units since 1988. The Housing Choice Voucher program has 14,000 participants and the program but is under utilized. Most people are not showing up for their appointments to fill the voucher program and the waiting list is rather stale. CMHA officials estimate that they will exhaust the Housing Choice Voucher waiting list in May of this year.
The Voucher program is working with the long term homeless, veterans and those aging out of the foster care system. They are planning to assist with the Pay for Success program to keep the time spent in foster care down. There are 60 to 70 who leave the program every month and there are only 2,700 left on the 2011 waiting list. There are 305 in the Veterans program and more to give out.
The next CAHA meeting will feature Bill Faith of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio on April 6, 2015 at 1:30 p.m.
Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.