Philadelphia residents can now apply for subsidized housing vouchers for the first time in ten years.
Philadelphia residents can now apply for subsidized housing vouchers for the first time in ten years.[audio:100302SPVOUCHER.mp3]
The federal program helps pay the rent for low income residents living in privately owned apartments and houses.
The Philadelphia Housing Authority says they have exhausted their waiting list and need more applicants. Officials say they expect forty to fifty thousand new residents to sign up.
The program has not always been so popular with homeowners who worry that too much subsidized rental housing could lead to crime and lower real estate values.
Chris Artur is a realtor from Northeast Philadelphia who had been a critic of the program but then helped institute reforms.
Artur: We tried to go with the vouchers to where we thought the need was greatest, from the elderly and the disabled. So I think that went a long way in solving the problem in the neighborhood, and with the community leaders.
The housing authority will take new applications online and over the phone over the next two weeks.