Hundreds of residents seeking better housing wait to wait

There is a critical need for housing in Jackson metro area. That was evidenced by the thousands of residents who braved the long lines over a two-day period at the Jackson Housing Authority Tuesday and Wednesday in hopes of being placed on a waiting list for limited housing vouchers

However, not all were pleased with the process, considering so many residents appear to be in dire straits.

Lorene Castle was one of the many who missed out on the opportunity to sign up for the vouchers for section 8 housing at the Livingston Road location.

Castle, who shares a home with her brother in Jackson, was not too pleased the housing authority no longer were allowing residents to fill out applications late Wednesday afternoon.

“I was told that (the housing authority) stopped giving out applications at 1 p.m. I have been waiting out here since 2 p.m. for something to happen, but we were told that nothing can be done,” Castle said. “Something has to be done about this.”

According to the housing authority, the application sign up period began Tuesday with nearly 1,000 prospective homeowners signing up. It was even greater Wednesday with an estimated 2,000 people waiting to fill out applications. Seeing the number swell, the authority had to stop taking application around noon.

It has been reported that the housing authority has only 412 section 8 housing vouchers.

Jackson Housing Authority Executive Director Shelia Jackson told The Mississippi Link that the issuance of vouchers has been “closed for the past four years.” According to reports, only 500 residents signed up then for housing that is provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Brandon Sanders drove from Canton in hopes of finding better housing in Jackson for his family which includes four children. “Where we are now, there is mold growing all under the sink,” he said. “And the landlord is not doing anything about it.” Sanders said they had been waiting a long time Tuesday morning.

Applicant Kila Reese, who has a family of five children, was astonished at the sea of people that showed up to receive housing.

“Look at these people,” Reese said while pointing at the thick line which extended throughout the parking lot of housing authority building. “The housing situation is bad,” she said.

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