Saturday, November 26, 2016

Housing Authority To Gently Boot 90 Poor Tenants Out Of Aging, Outdated Section 8 Complex; Will Not Renew Rent Subsidy Contract With HUD, Tells Residents They'll Each Get Individual Rent Vouchers & To Start Looking For Private Landlords That Will Accept Them

In Oxford, Mississippi, The Oxford Eagle reports:
  • The future of Riverside Place and its tenants has been a topic of discussion for nearly two years.

    The public housing complex, operated by the Oxford Housing Authority through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, sent out letters on Feb. 3, 2015, to roughly 90 tenants informing them the contract with the city of Oxford would not be extended. It runs out Feb. 27, 2017.

    OHA Director Jeff McClure said the buildings in the development, built in the 1980s, were in bad shape and lacked basic amenities including up-to-date plumbing and central heating and air conditioning.

    “HUD is going in a different direction,” he said recently. “They’re moving away from public housing developments and toward a voucher system. They’re going to more public-private partnerships. It’s HUD’s most dominating form of housing right now across the country.”

    Riverside residents are being asked to find a place they’d like to live, whether in Oxford, Lafayette County or another state. OHA will issue a voucher to landlords to pay the residents’ rent, as long as they continue to meet the financial requirements of OHA.
    If a resident hasn’t found a place to live by Feb. 28, their vouchers would be issued back to OHA to go toward their rent at Riverside until they find a new place.

    “We’re not kicking anyone out,” McClure said.

    Sanders said on Dec. 1, OHA will start compiling lists of landlords willing to work with the voucher system and distribute them to Riverside residents, and be prepared to start issuing vouchers Jan. 1 for those residents who move before the contract runs out.

    “No one will be out on the street,” said Alderman Robyn Tannehill. “Those rumors are completely untrue.”

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