The Marshall County Housing Authority in Plymouth will soon be closing its doors effective Sept. 13 after funding cuts left them crippled and stuck with a $17,000 deficit. The Marshall County Housing Authority, which provides Section 8 assistance including Housing Choice Vouchers, helping families to pay rent on privately owned homes, had attempted to join forces with the Kosciusko/Goshen Housing Authority or Rochester Housing Authority but the plans fell through.
According to Executive Director Donna Vela, the funding reductions have left them with no choice but to close their doors – but they’re not alone, as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has been reducing funding for the last few years.
“The Housing Authority Program, HUD has been reducing funding through different things for the last couple of years. This year happened to be the sequester, which hit every one of the housing authorities, but it hit the smaller ones the hardest, and that’s what’s causing us to shut down because there’s not enough administrative funding to keep running the office, and that’s what all the housing authorities are having a problem with,” she said.
The responsibility of these vouchers will be handed down to the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority in Indianapolis, and Vela has her concerns with that.
“Very sad. I see that the personability that we have in this office, between us and the clients and the landlords, I’m afraid that’s going to end and they might become more of a number with it having to go through Indianapolis,” said Vela.
Those who current hold vouchers will continue to receive assistance, with any open vouchers to be handled by the state. Anyone currently having their vouchers processed must have the process completed before Sept. 13, when the office closes.