Hinesville Housing Authority seeing increase in people asking for help

Hinesville Housing Authority seeing increase in people asking for help

HINESVILLE, Ga. (WTOC) - The need for affordable housing is growing during this pandemic. Hinesville Housing Authority has seen an increase in people reaching out for help.

As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Hinesville Housing Authority knew it would impact its application intake. The CEO said the agency’s applications tripled since March.

The agency usually sees around 20 applications a month, that’s now turned into about 60.

According to the CEO, more than 1,400 people are waiting to get approved for affordable housing in the Hinesville-Liberty County area.

Melanie Thompson said most of those applicants are from the working class.

“They are really the individuals that need and deserve to be housed affordably in a quality community,” Hinesville Housing Authority CEO Melanie Thompson said.

Every applicant’s situation varies from being laid off or furloughed, but Thompson said most know, eventually, they won’t be able to afford their current housing.

“They are making the preparations needed to transition,” Thompson said.

The agency runs six properties, soon to be seven.

Thompson said it’s working aggressively to fill affordable housing needs by expediting housing projects and approving applications, like Michelle Oats, a retired veteran. This was her first time needing affordable housing.

“It was a really good help for me because I didn’t have nowhere to stay, so when it came through for me, it was a blessing,” Oats said.

As the country slowly reopens and things go back to some type of normalcy, Thompson said the need for affordable housing will remain an issue, unless local agencies make it a priority.

“We really need to get busy, very fast,” Thompson said.

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