Then came the bad news

Postado por , no dia 03 de junho de 2015 em Sem categoria

Modo de Preparo

Escaping homelessness no cheap fix

First, there was the good news for Ginger Marcom: her name was pulled from the lottery for a coveted Section 8 housing voucher.

Then came the bad news: finding a place would be a lot more difficult than she thought.

Marcom, whom The Columbian recently featured in a series on homelessness in Clark County, is the single mother of two young daughters in Vancouver. She says she was evicted without cause from her home over the summer, and she has been struggling to get back on her feet since. She and her girls, 12 year old Kaylynn and 10 year old Emily, are staying with her sister while they look for a home.

Marcom, who works full time in Milwaukie, Ore., estimates she’s visited 15 to 20 apartments, townhouses and duplexes a week since she was approved for Section 8 about two months ago. At each place, there was some new reason she didn’t qualify. Some were due to her financial history. She has an eviction on her record and a bankruptcy. Others were due to the landlord’s refusal to take Section 8. One landlord told Marcom she knew “what kind of people” have housing assistance.

“I thought a lot more people would have been willing to accept Section 8,” she said. “You can’t make everybody the same.”

And late last month, two months after she was approved for Section 8 housing, Marcom was approved for a home a duplex in her daughters’ school district. Now, Marcom has another hurdle to face: paying for deposits on the two bedroom duplex which costs $1,449 a month. Marcom adds that she looked at more modest apartments, but this is the only home she was approved for at all. She said that’s $446 per month, leaving Marcom on the hook for the remaining portion. She must also pay the $1,395 deposit, a cleaning fee and move in costs. The 33 year old mother launched a GoFundMe fundraiser to try to raise the money. “Of course, it’s going to be different for each family, whatever their situation might be.”

Melanie Green, administrator for the Family and Community Resource Centers at Evergreen Public Schools, said Marcom’s story is not unusual. Families must be referred to the Section 8 waiting list through the resource centers, so the schools have firsthand knowledge of the challenges families face trying to find housing. About 700 students were considered homeless earlier this month, district officials said.

“That’s something we hear about often from people,” Green said. “They’re really excited, but the reality sets in once they start looking for a place that Section 8 can be a barrier.”

The Department of Housing and Urban Development puts Clark County’s fair market rent for a two bedroom apartment at $1,208.

The Council for the Homeless recently established a program called “Diversion,” which has limited funds available to help homeless families pay cheap jerseys those initial move in costs, Executive Director Andy Silver said.

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