HACA Housing Commission
Next Regular Meeting: Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at 8:00 a.m.
The HACA Housing Commission’s meeting agenda packets from 2010 through 2021 can be accessed here:
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A Message from HACA’s Executive Director
I often ponder what the hardest part of my job is and I always end up with the same answer – managing supply and demand. The scarcity of affordable housing options for people with limited financial means is heartbreaking. Consider this sample of the many emails that have come to HACA in just the last month:
“My father can no longer afford the exorbitant Bay Area rental housing market. May I ask what steps need to be taken to apply for section 8?“
“I am recently widowed with a 2 year old. We are on social security. How do I apply for housing/rental assistance? I am currently unemployed but plan on finding a job and daycare for my son after I find a job.”
”I’m sure the waiting list is closed but just thought it might be worth a try anyway.”
“I am emailing for help on receiving a section 8 low income housing voucher for myself to get into ANY housing as soon as possible.”
Using 100% of the financial resources available to us, HACA can assist approximately 6,500 households. We are always at full capacity, and, as a result, utilize waiting lists to manage the huge disparity between the funding that is available to us and the actual demand for affordable housing options in the communities we serve. This makes my job hard and frustrating. I think everyone working at HACA would agree that this challenge takes its’ toll on them as well.
Occasionally, however, there appears glimmers of hope. Recently, we received the following message from someone who had previously sent a plea like the ones shared above. In her recent letter to us she wrote:
“I’m not sure if you recall but some time ago I sent you an email seeking some help or even some direction on finding some kind of help with housing assistance for my family and I. With your help I was able to get that help and I just recently got approved for Section 8. I am currently in the process of finding a home for my family and me and I couldn’t be more thankful to you. So I really just wanted to reach out to you today and say thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you hadn’t taken the time to read my email Lord only knows where my family and me would be today. You truly are an angel 😇 & came through for my family and I when we needed it most. I am forever grateful to you and appreciate you and all your help. May God Bless you and yours always. Thanks again, have a great day. 😊❤”
We’re thrilled HACA could play a role in relieving the burden of housing instability for this family. But there are so many others waiting and in need.
Another glimmer of hope is the recent award of 252 Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs) to HACA to assist individuals and families who are homeless; at risk of homelessness; fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking; or recently homeless. EHVs will help individuals and families find housing and remain stably housed long-term. HACA will be working with local partner organizations that will refer eligible individuals and families to us for distribution of these new vouchers. Look for information on our website for contact information for these local partners.
Yes, it can be discouraging, hard, and frustrating to try to meet the seemingly insurmountable demand for affordable housing but at HACA we don’t give up and we do the best we can. We have hope.
Kurt Wiest, Executive Director