Housing authority opens waiting list

By Lorna Hart - lhart@civitasmedia.com

MIDDLEPORT — The Meigs Housing Authority, located in their new offices at 441 General Hartinger Parkway, in Middleport, announced the waiting list for the Meigs Metropolitan Housing Authority Section 8 Housing Choice voucher program will open May 3.

The program is based on availability; Meigs County is allowed 125 vouchers, meaning 125 households can be served. There is usually more need in the county than availability, both in terms of vouchers and available rentals.

According to MHA Executive Director Brenda Leslie, the waiting list has been closed for some time and she is happy to again accept applications.

“We have more need than vouchers,” Leslie said. “And there is always a shortage of quality rentals in the area.”

The process for being accepted into the program requires meeting strict standards of need. Once accepted, the participant is required to find a rental that meets HUDs housing quality standards. There are 68 landlords in Meigs County at this time who meet the requirements and are being paid by the MHA each month.

Leslie has worked at the MHA since she was hired in 1994 as an intake specialist after returning to Meigs County following the end of her military. She was hired by Jean Trussell, executive director at that time, and said working with the group helped her gain the experience she needed to assume the role as director in January 2013.

Leslie was also glad to announce the addition of Sabra Pierce to the MHA staff. Pierce was hired in February in a dual role as intake specialist and family self-sufficiency coordinator.

The goal of FSS is to have the individual or household integrated into the community and assume the role of homeowner with in five years of enrollment. The program is designed to allow participants to build savings to be used toward home ownership, and as a teaching opportunity for renting participants to learn what it takes to maintain and care for a property, including household budgeting.

When participants “graduate” from the program, the goal is to be in a financial position to qualify for a loan to purchase their own house.

The current MHA board is made up of board chairman Fred Hoffman, vice-chairman Norman Price and board members John Hood, Ed Durst and Brett Jones.

Applications for the Section 8 Housing Choice voucher program will be given on Tuesdays between 9 and 11 a.m. until further notice. Should anyone have any questions regarding this program or others offered by the MHA, call 740-992-2733 during business hours (8 a.m. and 4 p.m.) Tuesday through Friday.

Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155 Ext. 2551.

By Lorna Hart