Posted by: swfloridarealestate | May 29, 2009

Housing Help in Lee County

Thousands of Lee County families are waiting for federally subsidized housing and programs.

Lists for Section 8 – a program that gives people a voucher to choose private housing and pay an affordable rent based on income – stretch years long and are closed to new applicants.

They’re not expected to open any time soon.

Public housing lists in Lee County and Fort Myers are open and waits endure from months to a year or more depending on the development. Here’s some information on applying.

Who is eligible? Lee officials say that very low and extremely low-income people who are disabled, elderly and part of families are given preference. Very low income is $30,350 for a family of four and extremely low is about $18,000.

Fort Myers officials accept applicants between the low and extremely low income limits. The limit for a low-income family of four is about $48,000.

How to apply? Applications are taken from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for the 142 units through Lee County Housing Authority at its North Fort Myers office, 14170 Warner Circle NW. In Fort Myers, people can apply from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for the roughly 800 subsidized units at any of the six subsidized Fort Myers authority’s developments. The public housing office is based at 4301 Veronica Shoemaker Blvd.

Find a list of developments at news-press.com or hacfm.org, and go to Become a Resident.

People can also print an application from the site and mail it to any of the developments.

Can I get in sooner? Housing officials recommend applying for several developments instead of just one. The Fort Myers authority allows people to mail applications with a different cover sheet for each development to any one of its developments.

In Fort Myers, the wait is shorter for the senior developments, which permit people who are age 55 and older.

What to bring? Lee officials require Social Security cards and a photo identification for all family members to start an application and will likely ask for more information such as income-related documents.

Fort Myers officials require birth certificates and Social Security cards for all family members and applicants should expect them to ask for more as well.

Both authorities conduct background checks.

Some good news? Sherri Campanale, director of housing operations for the Fort Myers authority, said the list isn’t as long as anticipated. She said rents have gone down in response to the housing crisis and rental developments are offering deals. “There are a lot more options for clients than there were,” she said.

For more details go to news-press.com, or the Fort Myers authority at hacfm.org or 344-3220 and the Lee authority at leecountyhousingauthority.org or 997-6688.

From the News-Press

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