Authority to apply for housing vouchers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 26, 2005

In the wake of the federal government’s takeover of Nansemond Square Apartments, Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority officials are moving forward to provide residents with vouchers for alternate shelter.

SRHA Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously supported a resolution to apply to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for 128 Section 8 vouchers for residents currently living in the complex off Carolina Road.

SRHA Executive Director Clarissa E. McAdoo said the move is a &uot;housekeeping&uot; measure considering that HUD requested that they facilitate the process. Currently 122 units of the 128 apartments are occupied, said McAdoo.

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Residents will only be allowed to remain in the apartments if the units are found to meet Housing Quality Standards (HQS). Section 8 certification is currently only attached to the complex, meaning that residents do not have required authorization to pursue other federal housing in this category. The board’s vote paves the way for each of the occupants to receive a Section 8 voucher, as long as they meet program guidelines.

Most should be approved, said McAdoo, &uot;but there may be those who are not. We have to be prepared for those.&uot;

For now, &uot;We’re going to try to look at the units they’re in,&uot; she added, &uot;and make an assessment on the units to see if they can live in them.&uot;

With the Section 8 vouchers in hand, residents can seek housing anywhere in Hampton Roads. The

program pays a portion of qualifying residents’ rents, while the remainder is based on a fraction of their income.

HUD officials have acknowledged that the complex is suffering from disrepair, and foreclosure proceedings will soon begin. Once

sold, the apartments must still meet affordable housing guidelines.

The housing authority has set June 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the National Guard Armory for residents to apply for Section 8 vouchers. Officials expect to issue certificates on June 14 tentatively, said McAdoo.