Multiple strains on Section 8 housing are creating major worry for those who depend on affordable housing in Orange County.
The recent floods are perhaps receiving the most news coverage.
However, General Service Corporation, which according to the Chapel Hill News, owns nine apartment complexes in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, recently announced that it will no longer accept rent vouchers. This means that as leases run out in the coming months, low income citizens will be thrown into housing crisis. With so little affordable housing available already, GSC's announcment means that the properties available to low-income renters will be even more sparse and hard to come by.
Additionally, a letter from Tara Fikes, Orange County Housing Director, that went out to HUD recipients this past week cited the federal sequestration as a strain on local budgets. "Here in Orange County, this will mean a reduction of more than $250,000 in how much our Section 8 program will have available to pay in rental assistance," the letter stated.
Any one of these three things would be a major blow to affordable housing in Orange County. All three of them at once is too much for us to handle. Already at-risk populations will be bearing the brunt in the coming months if we don't do something.