Emergency housing vouchers now available to eligible West Virginia residents to combat homelessness

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 6:19 PM EDT
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NORTH CENTRAL, W.Va (WDTV) - Emergency housing vouchers are now available through a local housing authority. This comes after the federal moratorium on evictions ended over the weekend.

Fairmont and Morgantown Housing Authority Executive Director Christal Crouso says with the federal eviction moratorium ending and the pandemic continuing, the vouchers come at a crucial time. She explained that the FMHA was one of three agencies in West Virginia given emergency housing vouchers as part of a $5 billion push from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“There’s about 70,000 emergency housing vouchers being given out nationwide and we were a recipient of 105 of those,” said Crouso.

In order to qualify, an individual must be homeless, at-risk of becoming homeless, recently homeless or fleeing domestic violence or human trafficking. The vouchers can be used for a variety of costs that someone in any of those situations may need help paying.

Crouso adds, “those funds can be used for things like security deposits, if there’s an application fee for an apartment complex or if someone has difficulty getting utilities in their name, we can assist with that.”

Crouso says FMHA partnered with many local agencies to help provide case management to the voucher holders. She said, “The folks under these vouchers will have some wrap-around services that can help them with things like financial literacy, medications, doctors’ appointments, those type of things.”

She said emergency situations, like losing housing due to fire or being unexpectedly kicked out of a living situation, would also make someone eligible. The housing authority covers Monongalia, Marion, Preston and Taylor Counties.

Crouso says this program is a long-term solution for homelessness. “Right now, the vouchers are good for 3 years if they’re stable and in place at the end of 3 years they turn into a 10-year voucher so that’s why its really important for our community to have the stability there so they can go to a 3-year life span to a 10-year life span.”

The housing authority is also offering cash incentives from $500-$1,000 for new and existing landlords to take in emergency voucher clients.

The number to help get the application process for the voucher started is (304) 363-0860 and ask for Amy.

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