SRHA Commissioners going public to keep Section 8 family in a home

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 7, 2004

Hoping to keep a mother of six from becoming homeless, three Suffolk housing commissioners have stepped up to help the Section 8 resident by asking the community to donate funds to pay her delinquent utility bill.

If the woman does not pay the $2,800 power bill by Nov. 12, she will lose her Section 8 voucher.The woman has been living without utilities for more than 30 days and has children ranging from age 7 to 11 months. Federal guidelines stipulate that utilities must be maintained to keep a Section 8 voucher, which assists low to moderate income residents in meeting monthly housing costs.

Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority Commissioners including Vice Chairman Mary Richardson, Thelma Hinton and Linda Brown believe the agency shares some responsibility in helping the woman, because the Section 8 house she lives in on Linden Avenue has poor insulation resulting in her high utility bills.


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&uot;We feel this young lady was given a bad deal. She should not have been living in this house in the first place,&uot; stressed Hinton.

The housing authority is currently conducting a survey of all of its Section 8 residents to ascertain their housing conditions. Housing authority staff has determined that they cannot financially assist the resident with the bill because it would open the door to other tenants to expect the same, said Hinton.

Meanwhile, the commissioners are circulating a letter to churches and residents seeking donations for the woman.

&uot;The house that she is living in is poorly insulated, resulting in high utility bills; her current Virginia Power Bill is $2,800,&uot; reads the


&uot;We are asking all churches and charities for help. I know we can get this bill paid with your help. We don’t want to see anyone homeless.

Donations should be sent to Mary Richardson, vice chairman, Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, 4529 Marlin Ave., Suffolk, Va. 23435.