Gainesville Housing Authority Feeling the Heat
With two days until homelessness, Dorothy Boston and her daughter have a place to stay.
"They said I make too much, and that I need to get off the program and I need to pay regular rent," she said.
This month Boston was kicked out of the section eight housing program. The single mom says what she makes as a full-time housekeeper at Shands Hospital, $11.66 an hour, is too much to qualify for section eight.
"To be honest with you, I do need it, I really do," she said.
Boston's story may be one of many. The Gainesville Housing Authority is facing several challenges, and according to a letter from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the agency's lack of permanent leadership is creating a bigger problem.
The letter, addressed to GHA Chair Evelyn Foxx, asks why she hasn't started the search for a permanent director.
"It would've been bringing in someone who had no feel for the Gainesville Housing Authority, for the clients that they serve, so I think that the board made the right decision and I don't think its harming us at all," said Foxx.
The agency's interim director, Bernadette Woody, was put to work in March.
GHA is facing a $1.8 million short fall- the biggest in the nation. Debt that's already being felt by those they serve.
"Last month we were told that 200 people would have to be dropped from the program," she said.
Officials say it's too early to tell exactly how many people may have to be removed from the section eight program, but it would be done on a last in, first out basis. However, Boston says she's been on the program for ten years.
HUD set a deadline of August 5 for the GHA to explain how it will find a new director.
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