One of the many lines for support services at the Reliant Center is one for housing. Housing authorities are collecting information from Katrina evacuees, but officials don’t necessarily have the supply of housing immediately available to meet the demand.
Those who had low rent public housing or section eight housing in New Orleans or in other disaster areas are being given priority.
And the low rent housing units are gone. So Katrina evacuee Samantha Chapman has been put on a waiting list. She plans to stay at Dome City for the time being.
Across town, Katrina evacuee Keisha Farrell has been given the keys to one of the 35 apartments the housing authority had available. She’ll now being calling the Allen Parkway Village home.
Rent could be as low as $50 dollars a month plus a utilities allowance depending on what income she’s able to secure. Farrell plans to look for a job, but first she has to make her way back to a Baytown Shelter, that’s where her two children, five and eight years old, are waiting for her. Farrell can’t believe the home she’ll have for them.
Back at the Reliant Center, housing authorities continue registering people in the hopes a unit will open up. Others are being given section eight paper work and have the task of finding an apartment on their own.
New Orleans had 9,000 people using section eight vouchers. At this point, housing authorities say they have no way of knowing how many of those people are in Houston and will seek housing here. The city of Houston, Harris county and the Houston Apartment Association established a task force today to find more housing options for more people.