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HRS Temporarily Closing Most Housing Applications On July 31st

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
HRS Temporarily Closing Most Housing Applications On July 31st

Highlands Residential Services will temporarily close most housing applications starting July 31st due to long waiting lists.

Executive Director Dow Harris said only Oak Tree Towers will continue accepting potential residents while applications for public housing, Walnut Village and Willow Heights will pause.

“There were 278 persons or families on the public housing waiting list alone,” Harris said. “That’s about a year average wait across all of our public housing inventory from Celina, Algood, Baxter especially Cookeville and Algood.”

Harris said the housing authority will use the pause to reorganize under and over housed units and transition rental assistance to a section 8 program. Harris said the goal is to resume normal operations at the beginning of the new year.

“We have 18 that is in existing inventory that is over housed, and the section 8 program that would be a non-compliance issue for us and really puts a burden on those residents over housed,” Harris said. “The section 8 program would require them to pay a market based rent, and so that would be extravagant rent for them to pay. They wouldn’t be able to afford that, so we got to correct those issues.”

Harris said this is the first time in the housing authority’s history that applications will be temporarily closed. Harris said waiting lists for Walnut Village and Willow Heights extend even further than public housing with a three-year hold back.

“We turned over five or six units at Willow Heights last year,” Harris said. “There’s probably 70 persons on that waiting list for Willow Heights. So, it is almost no use in applying cause we are never going to get a unit. They are just not turning over, and there is only about 30 of those. Walnut Village turned over 12 or 13 units last year and there are 80 apartments over there. There is approximately 110 persons on the Walnut waiting list.”


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