Don’t blame Section 8 tenants; blame the homeowners for poorly maintained homes. In a meeting where the Augusta Richmond County Commission, City Administrator, and Sheriff’s Department addressed the Augusta Housing Authority, the message was clear; out of the thousands of calls to the Housing Authority about property maintenance less than one hundred were section 8 voucher homes.
Commissioner Ben Hassan, after hearing testimonies concluded that the commissioners came to the Housing Authority because they are “a face they can deal with” about the property maintenance issues.
While there has been much stigma surrounding the almost 4000 houses using Section 8 Housing subsidies and many more units in the public housing system, the problem all boils down to who owns the property. Homeowners have purchased property as investment and it is the homeowner’s responsibility to keep the preventative maintenance on the homes.
You cannot expect a tenant who has lived in an apartment to own a lawnmower and properly cut grass without first teaching them how to do it. It was stated, most of those that come from public housing and transition to Section 8 Vouchers decide to move back to public housing units because it is much more responsibility than that of apartment type living.
Augusta Housing Authority completes annual inspections on all section 8 and public housing units, but the inspection checklist does not cover many of the concerns many of the neighbors complain about.
Commissioner Marion Williams stated he was tired of the conversation being “if you don’t live in West Augusta you are not in a good area” “We are trying to clean up our area and need everyone’s help.”
Rhodes Porter Realty Group has a Be A Good Neighbor program that assists tenants and homeowners with resources on what it takes to be a stakeholder in the community no matter if you are renting or owning a property.
It goes deeper than just a property; there are mentality changes that must occur to begin to see more neighborhood changes.
Click to learn more about Augusta Housing Authority Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
The Augusta Chronicle reported on the same meeting click here to see what they published in their paper titled Housing Violations talks, disconnect