HABD offers resources to help with lack of affordable housing as need grows

Waiting for affordable housing
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 11:52 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 15, 2023 at 3:13 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Housing Authority of the Birmingham District said a lack of affordable housing is impacting communities across the country and it’s not just those considered low-income facing the challenge.

HABD Chief of Policy and Government Affairs, Seth Embry, said the public housing wait list for the general public has several thousand people on standby end it could take years before their name reaches the top.

“The challenge is it’s very hard to find affordable housing in Birmingham right now,” Embry said

Embry said the issue becomes more dire for people with disabilities because of accessibility challenges.

To help more qualifying families, HABD opened the waiting list for the Mainstream Voucher program for the first time since 2019.

The program is the typically to help families with a disabled loved one find affordable housing.

Within one week, Embry said nearly 600 people applied, but the program is limited.

“We have about 10 slots we’re looking to fill,” Embry explained.

The need, he said, greatly outpaced supply and even with new developments on the way like Southtown and Villas at Titusville, HABD said they were still fighting for federal funding to maintain current inventory and create state-backed tax incentives for developers to encourage new builds.

“So, the state would subsidize through tax credits the development of affordable housing for low income people,” he explained.

Embry said the public could help by urging lawmakers to make affordable housing a priority.

He said HABD also offered incentives to landlords to accept section 8 vouchers because even though people may be awarded a voucher they may have difficulty finding a property that accepts them.

As for those who were able to get your name on one of HABDs waiting lists, Embry said to consider taking advantage of their resources to improve your income and promote home ownership.

Click here for more details. https://habd.org/.

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