LMHA Helps Families Find Permanent Housing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 22, 2017 - Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority (LMHA) has many programs to assist families in finding homes. The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program - which is commonly called Section 8 - and the Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) are two of them.
HCV is a federally-funded rental program that helps families obtain a home in the private housing market. Families who are eligible are issued a housing subsidy (a determined portion of the rent) which is paid directly to the landlord. The family then pays the difference. LMHA can assist up to 4,400 families with rental assistance. The Housing Choice Voucher is tied to the family, not the housing unit. This allows the family to lease any unit that meets the programs requirement including units outside Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority jurisdiction.
When renters express an interest in home ownership, LMHA helps them by counseling them via the Family Self-Sufficiency Program. This program helps them free themselves from government assistance and become financially independent. They are helped to obtain a living wage and to set financial goals. As their income increases, so does the portion of the rent they pay. Also, as their income increases, additional money is put in an escrow account so that they can begin saving. The escrow savings can be used for a down payment on a permanent residence. Typically, this can be a five-year process. There are many other agency partners in the FSS program - NeighborWorks Toledo Region, Pathway Toledo, Owens Corning, Ohio Means Jobs and the City of Toledo to name a few.
Tamela Shanks-Royston, acting VP of the HCV program, stated that "there are currently 61 homeowners who have gone through the program. We are expecting at least an additional five families to reach their goal of homeownership this year." Edward Bell is one of those residents. A participant in the HCV program since 2011, Bell took advantage of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program. He completed a home buyer's education class with NeighborWorks. During this time also, he received guardianship of his three grandchildren. Now, a homeowner, Bell and his family are extremely excited to be living in their new home.
Additional information about these programs can be obtained from LMHA's website: www.lucasmha.org.
About Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority
Established in 1933, Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority (LMHA) continues to provide affordable housing to adults, seniors and children in its Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, Mixed-Income and Market-Rate housing units. LMHA also provides a myriad of programs and opportunities designed to improve the total quality of life for our residents, with the ultimate goal of achieving self-sufficiency. The programs and services are the result of successful collaborations with numerous community partners. Our current housing portfolio consists of 2,701 Public Housing units; 4,366 Housing Choice Vouchers; 32 Low-Income Housing Tax Credit units; 198 Market-Rate units; and, 53 Rent-to-Own properties. There are approximately 17,500 people who reside in LMHA properties. Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority partners with ALL people and organizations willing to exchange ideas and efforts to enhance Toledo, Lucas County, and the world.
Photo Caption: Present at the closing to support and congratulate Edward Bell are (from left to right) Jennifer Smith, HCV program manager, and his real estate agent Meredith Griffin-Liedel of RE/MAX.