In mid-October, when Todd Griffin first learned that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had revoked his landlord’s eligibility for the Section 8 subsidy program, all he was told was that he would have to move from his Homewood apartment—in 60 days.
During a series of meetings that followed, residents were told they had to re-register with HUD so they could get new vouchers, but what many weren’t told until later—and what some may still not know now—was that HUD had already given the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh enough vouchers for the more than 100 families in the affected Bethesda Apartments, a 140-unit scattered-site development spread through Homewood, Larimer and Garfield.
“We have emergency vouchers for all of those residents,” said Authority spokesperson Michelle Sandidge, in an interview with the New Pittsburgh Courier at its Middle Hill ribbon cutting ceremony, Nov. 1. “They just need to get in touch with us because we don’t know who they are. They’ve been dealing with HUD and absentee landlords from New York—but once they’re in our system, they go straight to the top of the list for any of our properties. And, of course, they can take those vouchers to any landlord that can and will accept them, anywhere in the country.”
Griffin said he has since applied with the housing authority, but is still waiting for a voucher.
“I was a little upset about not learning about the housing authority having the vouchers right away, but what are you going to do,” he said. “They have my information, but they have to finish the background check before I get my voucher.”