Families Face Losing Rental Assistance

Published 11/15 2012 04:39PM

Updated 11/15 2012 08:35PM

WASHINGTON COUNTY, MD - Some families who receive rental assistance are facing a crisis. They could lose their housing, and it's all in the hands of Congress.

Housing agencies across the Four-State are facing an 8.2 percent cut. They say they may have to cut families for the first time.

"My rental assistance has given me a chance to have a decent life," says senior Cora Farquharson, who has a Section 8 voucher. "This is a safe place to live. It has security. If I didn't have it, I don't know where I would be."

Farguharson is one of 600 people who receive rental assistance in Washington County.

More than 1,400 families are hoping for that sense of safety; they're on the waiting list for rental assistance. The Housing Authority has seen the number jump since the summer.

But the waiting list won't move, and many households will be cut if Congress allows cuts to take effect in January.

"We have never had to withdraw rental assistance from someone that was actually getting it," says Richard Willson, executive director of the Washington County Housing Authority. "If Congress is unable to get through that logjam, we will be actually withdrawing assistance from families getting it. We're right now trying to figure out how do you do that fairly."

Going over the fiscal cliff would mean the Housing Authority would have to cut 40 to 50 families in January.

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