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Gainesville to reopen its public housing waiting list
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Public housing waiting list re-opening

When: Feb. 8

How to apply: Online at Applications will not be accepted in person. The Gainesville Housing Authority’s computer lab will be open from 9 a.m. to noon on Feb. 8 and 9.

How public housing works

Public housing recipients in Gainesville will not pay more than 30 percent of their adjusted income toward rent and utilities. To qualify for public housing with the Gainesville Housing Authority, individuals and families must:

• Have an income below 80 percent of the area median household income level, which was $37,212 in Gainesville between 2009 and 2013, according to census estimates. Income is adjusted based on various deductions, such as how many children are in a family or major medical expenses.

• Pass a criminal background check.

• Have no outstanding debts with any other public housing authorities.

The Gainesville Housing Authority is reopening its waiting list for public housing in February.

“We recently purged our waiting list, which we are required to do annually,” said Beth Brown, executive director of the Gainesville Housing Authority. “As a result, we have determined that we do not have a sufficient number of applicants to fill potential vacancies for all bedroom sizes in the near future.”

About 800 families were on the waiting list at this time last year, which speaks to the demand for affordable housing in Gainesville and Hall County.

In Hall County, nearly half of all of renters (about 20,000 total units) are cost-burdened, spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing, according to census figures. And that number tops 50 percent in Gainesville (about 12,000 units).

Brown said the current lack of applicants is due to several factors, including the completion of the relocation of Atlanta Street residents last year (that complex has now been demolished), “and we have had difficulty getting applicants to respond to our attempts at scheduling appointments.”

“As an example, we scheduled appointments with 25 applicants and only four showed up,” Brown added.