Local families say property owners will not accept low-income housing vouchers

Updated: Mar. 11, 2019 at 11:45 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A young Charlotte couple says they have lived homeless for years, but now, a little one is motivating change.

“I cannot have her outside and I won’t,” Kimberly Millman says of her one-month-old little girl. “I will do everything in my power to be inside somewhere.”

While getting temporary help from an advocacy group to stay in a motel, they say they got a housing voucher from the government to cover monthly rent payments.

Only they say, property owners have been turning that voucher away.

“At the last minute, the woman fell through and she got cold feet, and didn’t want to do the voucher,” Millman says.

Millman says another property owner didn’t pass the inspection required to use the money.

“He didn’t want to pay for the repairs,” she says. “He never called back.”

It’s not just that one family. In Gaston County, another family is newly homeless after a tree crushed their home in a storm just weeks ago.

“I have a medical needs child, so being without a home is just not even an option, really,” Cherie Graybeal says.

Graybeal and her two children have been staying in a hotel, paid for by their former property owner, since. The days on that agreement are running low.

They too have a housing voucher, but they too say they’re being turned away.

“I honestly feel like I’ve spoken with just about every property owner in Gaston County, and no one will accept that voucher,” Graybeal says.

This mom says she believes it’s a discrimination issue from the have’s, against the have nots.

“There’s just so much hate against people who need that assistance, without them realizing that there are truly people out there who don’t have a choice or an option,” she says.

Gaston County housing officials told WBTV in their county, only 56 percent of people who qualify and receive these vouchers can actually find property managers who will accept them as payment.

Last summer, HUD formed a task force to encourage property owners to be more understanding, but there isn’t any clear solution at this time.

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