Longer Wait Times at H.A.W.C Creating Problems

Longer Wait Times at H.A.W.C Creating Problems

The wait list for section 8 housing has drastically increased over the past 10 years. The Housing Authority of Washington County Director, Richard Willson, said it’s a problem that cannot be solved
HAGERSTOWN, Md. – The wait list for section 8 housing has drastically increased over the past ten years. The Housing Authority of Washington County Director, Richard Willson, said it’s a problem that cannot be solved.

"We have 600 vouchers and 300 physical units, add that together you have 900, 1,400 people on the waiting list. Even if everyone left all of our assisted housing opportunity, we'd be able to fill them with 900 people and still have, what another 500 people still waiting," Willson said.

Willson said the wait list is something the H.A.W.C. does not advertise, but with more than 1,400 people on the wait list Willson said there is only one way to assist those waiting.

"We try to treat people fairly and it becomes all the more important when there is such a limited resource,"Willson added.

One Hagerstown resident, Brian Little, said he knows all too well how the wait list works and said it can get disappointing at times.

"It seems to take along time, it's really hard in my situation not having a place to go, actually being homeless, and then my son came from out of state. But it was hard because we didn't have anywhere to go while we were waiting on the list," Little said.

Like Little, many people are on the wait list for more than a year.

"The housing was really hard, part was yea I'm stubborn, I didn't go to the men's shelter, and then when I had my son with me I didn't want to take him into that environment, so it was hard, it was very hard," Little said.

Willson said Washington County is lucky to have communities that are not distressed communities, even though there are plenty of communities that still need help.

Willson also said they're planning to build more housing units in Smithsburg, giving 16 more families opportunity, but says resources are hard to come by.

“There are always plans to build more, we try to seek resources, these days at the federal levels the resources are slim to non existent,” Willson said.







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