August 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson
A representative of the Southern Iowa Regional Housing Authority (SIRHA) spoke before the Cass County Board of Supervisors during their meeting Wednesday, in Atlantic. Gene Eyberg told the Board the Creston-based organization subsidized 1,031 Section 8 housing units that are privately owned in a 13 County area. He says of those 1,031 units, 187 are located in Cass County. 2.3%, or 318 people, are actually being served through Section 8 Housing.
Eyberg says year-to-date, that amounts to $290,635. SIRHA, which provides rental assistance or rent subsidy to low income individuals, families, elderly or disabled who meet qualifying program guidelines utilizing different programs, has a budget of more than $5-million. The organization operates 2 rental assistance programs: Public Housing and the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.
Eyberg says most of their budget comes through the federal Housing and Urban Development program (HUD). He says HUD has insisted SIRHA dwindle-down their surplus funds which are used for everything that’s involved in the program. Eyberg says they are working to reduce the surplus, as directed. He says they’re proud of the rental assistance program, because it fosters independence and a sense of worth, once those who are enrolled successfully complete the requirements.
He says it encourages people to get out on their own, forward their education, market themselves, and increase their earning potential. The money it saves qualifying individuals also ultimately can be applied for the purchase of a new home. That’s because a portion of the rent that’s paid, goes into a trust fund. For more information, surf the web to www.sirha-ia.org.