Local News

Elderly Fighting to Find Affordable Housing

Posted August 7, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— 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 Pat Braun 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 are disabled and can't work.

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

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

There are about 3,000 public housing units in Fayetteville. Most of them are filled and few ever open up which means some people could wait years on 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," said Don 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 income families but like the public housing areas, they have very few openings.

Cumberland County isn't the only area struggling with a public housing shortage. In Raleigh, the waiting period varies between six months and a year. 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 to eight months.