HANO Works To Keep Section-8 Voucher Families Off Wait List
WGNO News has new details about a story reported exclusively last weekend.
7-hundred families found out they’d be placed back on the waiting list to receive section-8 housing.
Now leaders with the Housing Authority of New Orleans are trying to help families who were furthest along in the process of securing housing.
Darian Trotter continues our coverage.
The Housing Authority of New Orleans has had a steady stream of clients coming and going.
In some cases, after finding out their newly issued section-8 housing vouchers are being withdrawn, they’ve been devastated.
WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter asked, “What did they say? They just told me that I gotta wait, I gotta move out the house, and wait for somebody to contact me with more funds but what am I supposed to do until then?” asked an unidentified woman who described herself as a voucher holder.
Friday, WGNO News reported exclusive details about letters mailed to 7-hundred voucher holders.
In them, HANO explained a number of circumstances, including an over subscription of vouchers and budget cuts are causing recently issued vouchers to be withdrawn effective immediately; because HANO does not have sufficient federal funds to subsidize new housing at the current time, or the near future.
“And I got three children, I done bought furniture for the house and everything,” an unidentified single mother said.
This week, those families are in a bind, because a number of them were about to move into their own home.
The single mother said, “They got me stressed out.” “This my first time getting a voucher now y’all want to take it back.” “Like seriously!” “They did the inspection and everything.” “The only thing I had to do was contract signing and move me in the house. I got the keys, I got everything.”
Now families who received a letter of withdrawal will go back on the waiting list.
HANO Administrative Receiver, David Gilmore says there’s an important footnote.
“No current voucher holders are going to lose their assistance,” Gilmore said. “Nobody needs to worry about that and there are 17-thousand of them out there in New Orleans.”
But calls into the WGNO newsroom suggest that is not entirely so.
It’s why the unidentified voucher holder was shedding real tears.
She said, “Six months I have been in the house and now I gotta move out that’s not fair, it’s not fair.”
After six years on the waiting list, the mother of three says going back on the list means going back to sleeping where ever she can.
“That’s like I’m homeless, going from house to house.” “I need my own house.”
Gilmore says the situation has become dire for potential renters because a number of landlords violated HANO rules by allowing families to move-in before they were supposed to.
Under HANO rules all move-ins are subject to inspections and signed contracts.
Gilmore says the agency is in the process of working on a case-by-case basis with families who followed the rules and were steps away from moving into their home.
Others will be placed back on the waiting list in their original order.
HANO says they will however be first to come off the list when additional funding is available.