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Elderly Fighting to Find Affordable Housing

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Ed and Pat Braun
FAYETTEVILLE — Aging Americans can't always turn to nursing homes as a housing option.Especially those who rely solely on social security to make ends meet.

There really is no place like home, which is why right now Ed and PatBraun feel so lost.

"We want a home to live in and food to eat we're not looking for a handout," said Ed Braun, Fayetteville resident.

For the last year they've tried to find a home they can afford. Both aredisabled and can't work.

"I have tried Section 8 housing, tried Habitat for Humanity I have triedeverything I know to do," said Pat Braun, Fayetteville resident.

The Braun's are not alone. More than 1000 people in Fayetteville justapplied for assisted housing, the first time in seven years the city hastaken applications.

There are about 3,000 public housing units in Fayetteville. Most of themare filled and few ever open up which means some people could wait yearson a waiting list before ever getting a home.

"Some people will have been on the waiting list for years and in my estimate will never make it to assistance and that's unfortunate," saidDon Sherrill, housing authority.

The city only has one public housing area designated for the elderly.The Braun's say they can't afford to wait.

There are several apartment complexes that were designed for low incomefamilies but like the public housing areas, they have very few openings.

Cumberland County isn't the only area struggling with a public housingshortage. In Raleigh, the waiting period varies between six months and ayear. Durham has more than 700 families on a public housing waiting list.Families who need a traditional two or three bedroom will wait from six toeight months.

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