MILTON — Sometimes people just need a place to call home. According to the Milton Housing Authority, the organization is doing its best to help with that need.
The authority places families in affordable housing based on federal assessments. But there's a catch: There almost always are more families in need than there are Section 8 houses.
Phyllis Sellers, director of MHS, said the program has reached its max on the availability of low income housing in the area.
"We are over our utilization," Sellers said. "We are over-housed. We have not (been able) to take in any new low-income housing since January."
Section 8 is the common name for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which helps low-income families afford housing in the private sector. The owners of any participating property must agree to accept the program at their property.
Sellers said last year Blackwater Housing Corporation, a long time participant of the program, was sold to GVA Pro LLC. She said after the sale, the new owners no longer accepted low-income housing, which affected their clients and their ability to provide housing in the area.
According to the Santa Rosa property appraiser website, GVA Pro purchased Pineywood Apratments, Park Place, Sugarwood, Quinn Bayou, and Boardwalk apartments. They also purchased property on Dogwood Drive, Pine Blossom Road, and Highway 87.
Even though they lost a lot of housing after the Blackwater sell, Sellers said some good has come out of it.
She said they have had some private landlords join the program since and have included the newly built Carter Crossing Senior Living Apartments to their lists of facilities that accept low-income seniors.
"That was a big account for us," she said.
Sellers said even though they cannot accept any more low-income families, the program is doing OK.
"We are not experiencing a big problem right now," she said. "As of now, we will end the year without overextending ourselves financially."
But Sellers said the problem they continue to face each year is the lack of housing available for low-income families in their area.
“We never have enough,” Sellers said. “We are always looking for new landlords (who are willing to participate).”
MHA operates under a seven-member board selected by the Milton mayor. MHA’s mission is to asses and fulfill the need for decent, safe, and affordable housing in Santa Rosa County that provides an environment which empowers low income families to improve their lives, according to its website.