Tuscaloosa homeless woman stresses need for more public housing

Tuscaloosa homeless woman stresses need for more public housing

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - A homeless woman in Tuscaloosa said she recently got approved for affordable housing after waiting a very long time

She said there's a need for more public housing and WBRC found out the plan to fix it.

Jillian Rivera said she moved to Tuscaloosa from New York to provide what she thought would be a better life for her family. She explains why she struggled to find a place to live when she got here

"It's hard getting housing here all together in Tuscaloosa County it's very hard. Here you must have three incomes to get an apartment," said Jillian Rivera who's currently homeless.

Jillian Rivera couldn't keep up with the cost of living and fell on tough times, ending up at the Salvation Army.

The Tuscaloosa Housing Authority Executive Director Ralph Ruggs explains why housing is so high.

"This is college community and housing sights are becoming increasingly expensive," said Ruggs.

Making it difficult for the Housing Authority to find locations where they can expand. On top of that, they must deal with a negative stigma.

"There is always that misconception that when assisted housing comes into the community here comes crime, here comes a lot of other issues," said Ruggs.

But that's not always the case. Some are just looking for an opportunity to finally have a place to call their own like Jillian will soon get to.

"Just people lazy just don't want to do it. But there are people who really want to help themselves are so much trying you know," said Rivera.

Ruggs said he runs into those types of people all the time.

"They work every day work eight hours sometimes longer than that to provide opportunities for their families," said Ruggs.

Ruggs said they just completed Jackson apartments and have plans to build an additional similar set of units on another side of the city.

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