Housing authority makes headway on Section 8 vouchers for Hand in Hand
The Brunswick Housing Authority Commission says it should be able to award the 60 Section 8 housing vouchers requested by Hand in Hand of Glynn County for a tiny home village for the homeless, but it’s not as cut and dry as simply handing them over.
Natasha Douglas, Section 8 manager, said she’s still waiting on a response from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department as to how many vouchers the authority can award to Hand-in-Hand.
As of Wednesday, she said the authority can award 40 vouchers to Hand in Hand, but the nonprofit organization requested 60, enough for the entire complex near the corner of Altama Avenue and Community Road.
Douglas said she was working with Hand in Hand on the logistics of getting 40 applications filled out by prospective residents.
Along with the 40 vouchers already committed to Hand in Hand, 26 are allotted to Brunswick Commons, a relatively new apartment complex on Coral Park Drive.
The BHA also expects to receive more vouchers that it will award via a selective bidding process, said Reggie Jackson, director of resident services. Hand in Hand could receive upwards of 20 more vouchers via that process.
Exactly how many vouchers the authority will have on hand to award to other organizations Douglas couldn’t say, but she noted the Golden Isles Veterans Village — another tiny home village under construction on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard — is interested in bidding on vouchers.
Douglas told the commission at a meeting in October that the Section 8 process works by percentages.
Any housing complex can be eligible to receive Section 8 vouchers for 25% of its units. Prioritizing the homeless and providing services like mental health counseling, job training, case management can increase that number, she explained.
BHA commissioners in the past voted to give Hand in Hand 60 vouchers, she said, without meeting HUD’s requirements.
BHA Chairman Allen Booker thanked her for all the work it has taken her to untangle the issue.
“I want to really applaud you for handling this one along with your other stuff you’d been so skilled at. I’m very confident in the way you handled this because we’ve had to start from scratch,” Booker said.
As a public housing organization, Booker added that it is part of the authority’s mission to help everyone without a home, especially before the weather turns really cold.
In other business, the BHA commission voted to begin drawing up a nearly $260,000 contract with Platinum Roofing to repair severely degrading roofing at the Whispering Oaks apartment complex.
Denise Hayes, the commission’s public housing resident member, said a recent event to raise awareness of youth relationship violence went off without a hitch aside from the weather.
Hayes said turnout was good and the housing authority is planning another at Glynnvilla Apartments on Jan. 7, 2024.
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Article By Taylor Cooper Brunswick News: https://thebrunswicknews.com/news/local_news/housing-authority-makes-headway-on-section-8-vouchers-for-hand-in-hand/article_e07f26ad-83aa-59e6-bca6-05adac12cf03.html