Housing help wait-list highlights problem in Hamilton County

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NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – If you’re looking for affordable housing, Hamilton County is opening its Section 8 voucher wait-list for the first time in four years and spots are already going fast. But experts say a bigger problem all across Hamilton County is a general lack of affordable housing.

Between October 2 and October 9, anyone can apply for a spot on the wait-list, but that doesn’t mean everybody who needs a voucher will get one.

“There are 325 that have applied online so far,” said Aimee Jacobsen, executive director of the Noblesville Housing Authority, which administers the vouchers over all of Hamilton County.

That’s for only 200 spots on the wait-list and just 185 vouchers.

Applicants are ranked by a number of categories, including where they currently live and work and veteran status.

“Hopefully we can get through those 200 in a year,” said Jacobsen, “but it may take a couple of years.”

Already the demand for spots on the wait-list is highlighting a nagging problem for Hamilton County, which is a lack of affordable housing across the board.

“There is a demand for over 10,000 units in Hamilton County,” said Jennifer Miller, executive director of Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development, citing the findings of a recent study.

“If we continued at our current rate of construction, it would take us 100 years to meet today’s demand,” said Miller.

Miller says in many cases, low-income workers may have jobs in Hamilton County, but commute longer distances to work because of that lack of affordable housing.

“We just need to keep [building] even though it’s maybe only 10 units at a time,” said Miller, “but we need to keep building 10 units at a time.”

No easy fix for all, but hopefully for some…a chance at relief on that wait-list.

For more information on how to apply for the wait-list, you can head to the application website.

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