Housing Grant Will Help 16 Low-income Families, But Hundreds Still On Wait List

Nov 20, 2017

Credit Susan / www.flickr.com/photos/susiepie/423274560

Sixteen more families in the Lafayette area are set to receive affordable housing after a federal grant was awarded to the city’s housing authority.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Tenant Based Rental Assistance program will help those families with their rent.

Lafayette Housing Authority Deputy Director Vida Hoyer says someone who works minimum wage usually can’t afford housing that’s up to standards. So, she says, the TBRA program works like a lottery – winners get reduced rent, maybe in a nicer neighborhood.

“Hopefully, out of the high poverty area,” Hoyer says. “Where they have better access to social services, better schools, maybe better jobs or training.”

Current Tippecanoe County residents who work at least 20 hours a week receive preference in the lottery.

Hoyer says the housing authority has contracted with the city to distribute the funds for the last decade. And while there was an increase about four years ago, she doesn’t expect to see another jump anytime soon.

“President Trump had mentioned about maybe not doing some of that grant funding, but thank goodness that at least didn’t get chopped off right away,” Hoyer says. “I don’t see it growing much, but hopefully it just stays the same because it has certainly worked for us.”

The program is similar to the Lafayette Housing Authority’s voucher program – where 800 applicants currently sit on a waiting list. Hoyer says the wait there can be anywhere from six months to more than three years.