DETCOG's housing plan reveals Section 8 housing problems

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Right now, about 1,700 families use Section Eight vouchers to pay for their housing.  That means they've qualified for government help in paying their rent based on their income.  It also provides for the disabled and elderly.

Elgin Davis takes care of Section Eight clients in Polk County.  He works with the Deep East Texas Council of Government's Regional Housing Authority.

"The problem I see is we don't have enough funds to enhance the programs,"said Davis.

Every five years, DETCOG releases an annual housing plan for their 12-counties.  The first draft was just completed.

"It does an assessment of the housing stock available for Section A Eight rental clients," said Walter Diggles, DETCOG Executive Director

More than 2,000 families have waited on this list for 3 years.

"After we get so long, we shut it down because we can't keep adding to it," said Diggles.

These families have qualified for assistance, but for several reasons, can't actually get their vouchers for rent.

"There's not enough housing there for a lot of people," said Davis.

"Due to the budget cuts now in Washington, we don't anticipate any additional funds. We anticipate lesser funds for the program. So the demand is great, but there's not adequate resources," said Diggles.

DETCOG'S housing plan identifies six goals to help ease the housing problem here.  A top priority is improving the physical quality of housing to meet federal standards.

For comments or a draft summary copy of the 2011 Annual Housing Plan contact:  Jasper DETCOG Office, Ethel Bluitt, 210 Premier Drive (409/384-5704, Extension 225); or, Lufkin DETCOG Office, Velma Coutee), 118 South First Street (936/634-2247), Extension 223).