News 12 at 6 o'clock, January 07, 2008
AUGUSTA, Ga.---The house hunt is on. Many in Augusta's Gilbert Manor are looking for a new place to call home. The Augusta Housing Authority passed out Section 8 housing vouchers Monday.
"Today is the day to make it better for our kids... today is the day," said Charmell Rogers. She is one of hundreds who gathered Monday hoping for a new lease on life.
"That's right: on the move, ready to go," said Rogers. The single mother of two signed up for Section 8 housing vouchers. The vouchers are one of three options as Gilbert Manor residents prepare to move as the neighboring Medical College of Georgia looks to expand. Charmell said the College is not the only ones looking toward the future. "I'm looking for a better life for my kids...just for them to be happy, for them to be safe."
It comes at a price. There's a security deposit based on credit. The price ranges anywhere from the first month of rent to $1500. And there's starting up utilities, the cost around $300. Moving to another public housing development, on the other hand, is free.
"I'm okay with it because I work every day," Rogers said. "I'm a manager at McDonald's and I'm able to pay my utility bills, so I'm ready."
The Augusta Housing Authority says after start-up costs the Section 8 housing vouchers are a viable option. "The families would pay the same percentage of income living in private housing as they would in public housing. So it's an opportunity for them to go out in the community and live in neighborhoods of their choice," said housing director Jacob Oglesby.
Not only that, the housing authority is calling the move a win-win for the city and those who live here. "I think it's good for the low income families to mix into the other neighborhoods so that we don't have large concentrations of poverty," Oglesby said.
Charmell says she's sold. "We go to bed easy with our minds we don't have to worry about our cars being broken into. I just think it's a better opportunity."