Landlords sought to provide Increase low-income housing

Published 7:46 pm Monday, February 25, 2019

Two programs are addressing low-income housing in Beaufort County.

The Washington Housing Authority is looking for landlords to participate in the federal government’s Section 8 housing choice voucher program.

The program — the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, the disabled and the handicapped — helps a select group of people afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market. The most important part of the Section 8 program is the landlord, according to a WHA press release.

Washington needs more low-income affordable housing, which qualified landlords can help provide. The problem is identifying those landlords.

“We need for landlords to be willing to accept vouchers. We have several vouchers out on the street,” said Jessica Jenkins with the Washington Housing Authority. Those voucher holders have two months to find housing, she said.

The WHA is providing housing to about 225 families, with more than 800 families on its waiting list for Section 8 housing. Its Section 8 program will fund 370 families, leaving about 145 open vouchers to fill.

That’s where the landlords come in. “We are currently in the need for new rental properties and new landlords to house the 145 available vouchers,” according to the press release.

Landlords are welcome to also screen any potential HCV tenants that may show interest in their units. Landlords can do a credit check, criminal-background check and landlord references. Landlords can contact WHA to verify potential tenants eligibility for the program.

For more information, contact Jessica Jenkins at 252-946-0061.

“Becoming a Section 8 HCV landlord is much easier than most would think. If you are a landlord and you have properties you would like to list with us please contact or stop by the Section 8 HCV office at 809 Pennsylvania Ave.,” reads the release.

In a related matter, the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency has approved $8 million for low-income housing in 28 counties, including Beaufort County and Tyrrell County, through its Essential Single-Family Rehabilitation Loan Pool.

The ESFRLP finances major home rehabilitation and modifications for households with members who are elderly, have disabilities or are veterans, and whose incomes are below 80 percent of their area’s median. Homes with lead hazards occupied by a child 6 years of age or younger may also qualify. The agency finances this assistance through local governments and nonprofit agencies.

To date, home rehabilitation and accessibility modification investments from the agency have improved homes in 720 communities statewide, preserving $368 million in property value. This month’s funding awards will help more than 200 homeowners in 28 counties.

“Investments in home rehabilitation and accessibility modifications help keep some of our state’s most vulnerable citizens in their homes, stabilizing neighborhoods and contributing to favorable economic and health outcomes statewide,” said Scott Farmer, N.C. Housing Finance Agency executive director.




About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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