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Housing waiting list still growing
Jun 24, 2013 | 1382 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print

BY TOM BUSSELBERG

Associate Editor 

FARMINGTON – Housing starts and sales of existing homes may be on the increase.

But by the same token,  more Davis County low- and moderate-income households need housing assistance, said Jan Winborg, executive director of the Davis Community Housing Authority. 

“Our waiting list is getting longer,” she said. “We’re probably at almost three years right now.”

The local housing authority has approval from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development to provide 1,036 rental housing units throughout the county.

The program is known as Housing Choice Voucher Program Section 8.

In it, landlords agree to provide housing and receive a percentage of the rent from those renting, and the rest from HUD. 

The local agency has 1,036 slots but is only filling 1,006, Winborg said. When someone moves from one of those units, his or her space is not filled. 

That’s because HUD has reduced its funding for that program as part of sequestration, she said. 

Since March 1, the Housing Authority has had to dip into its reserves to cover costs, Winborg said. 

“We are pro-active instead of reactive, like to make sure we’re doing what we have to so don’t run out of funds,” the director continued.

The agency has not had to lay off any staffers, but one position has been lost by attrition. 

In a recent meeting with the Davis County Commission, which provides oversight for the agency, Winborg outlined capital projects funded through specifically allocated federal funds.

The Housing Authority has budgeted $169,000, a drop from last year, but has yet to receive its allocation from the federal government, Winborg said. 

Some of the money will go toward modernizing units that are owned by the housing authority, ranging from replacing faulty appliances to concrete, doors, etc.

Most of the units the housing authority owns are in Bountiful, but others are in Clearfield, Centerville and Layton. 

“The Housing Authority provides a roof over these people’s heads so there is not greater homelessness in the county,” said County Commissioner Bret Millburn. 

The numbers:

• Since federal budget cuts took effect, the wait time for subsidized rent is three years

• Currently, 1,006 units are filled. There are 30 open slots that can’t be filled for lack of federal funding

 editor@utahislander.com

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