Chattanooga Housing Authority passes resolution to help increase Section 8 voucher options
The Chattanooga Housing Authority Board of Commissioners passed a resolution to increase the voucher payment standard for the Housing Choice Voucher Program on Tuesday to help widen the property search for recipients.
The program, widely known as section 8, is powered by federally funded dollars to help low-income families, the elderly, and those with disabilities find an agreeable place to live in the private sector.
The Board voted to increase the standard for the voucher which is the maximum amount the Housing Authority can pay for rent and utilities.
The increased one and two-bedroom units up to 110% of the fair market rents and remaining bedroom sizes to 100% of the fair market rents.
Betsy McCright, the executive director, stated that Chattanooga has changed and many apartment complexes had moved to privately managed and privately owned individuals who they were trying to compete against.
“What we’re trying to do is pay as competitively as possible so that we can compete with the private market. They are not as willing to keep voucher holders in the properties so when those folks have to move, it’s more burden on us to try and have that little extra assistance to help them find the right place for them,” McCright said.
Some residents on the program told Channel 3 on Friday that it had indeed been difficult to find housing.
“Have not been able to find anything. There’s nothing out here,” said Monique Floyd, who had been on the program for several years.
“It’s been really hard. I came out here yesterday to take care of some business and it was a couple of people that was needing to talk to someone about the vouchers. being unable to find one,” said Tonya Hyatte, her sister.
The two sisters added they hoped that as the city grows, so does more affordable options and interest from builders.
“Empty houses around here. I mean it’s sad. That can be some help too,” Floyd said.
The Commission also discussed a new emergency housing voucher McCright said would allocate 41 vouchers they received from HUD this year.
Those funds will help people in different phases of homelessness due to the pandemic.
McCright noted that 1500 people fill up the waiting list and encouraged people to update their information to get notifications.
The Chattanooga Housing Authority has information about all of its programs listed on its website.