SALISBURY, Md. – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development released earlier this year that Wicomico County is the second county in the state with the most families waiting for affordable housing.
Milly Hilligoss, executive director at Habitat for Humanity in Wicomico, said the lack of federal HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) funding for vouchers that subsidize the rent for low income families, is the reason for the long wait.
“Where are these families supposed to go? Let’s say they’re in a shelter and you can’t even apply for section 8 housing, where are social workers supposed to direct these families?” asked Hilligoss.
Wicomico County Councilman Bill McCain said this is a county concern and it will affect children the most.
“A bulk of these families have children, these homeless families. And children do better in school when they have a permanent residency. We want our children in our county to have a place to live, not a place to stay,” said McCain.
Hilligoss wants local and state politicians to get the attention of congress.
“This is an issue that the Eastern Shore Delegation and the senators and congressmen for the state of Maryland need to take this to congress and say we need more HUD funding,” said Hilligoss.
Habitat for Humanity is offering financial literacy classes for low income households so home renters understand requirements like credit score.
The office of Maryland senator Chris Van Hollen said he will introduce legislation with the goal of preventing evictions to help families from becoming homeless.