The Phelps County Public Housing Agency (PHA) closed its housing waiting list, effective March 15, according to Linda Hollandsworth, housing manager.
Until further notice, no new applications will be accepted at the St. James office or Potosi satellite office.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has decreased the allocation of housing assistance payments funds, which are used to subsidize rent and utility costs for very-low income families in the six-county PHA area.
“We must spend no more than we are receiving, therefore, we can only serve 662 families per month which is 68 less than we are currently serving,” Hollandsworth explained.
Sequestration of federal funds began March 1, and the Phelps County PHA is receiving only 94 percent of its 2012 allocation.
“Due to budget cuts and increased housing costs, Phelps County PHA has been using reserve funds to cover part of its monthly housing obligations, further limiting the number of families the PHA can serve,” said Hollandsworth. “We will now have to work with our annual allocation, which means no new families can be added to the program,” she added.
The Phelps County PHA currently has more than 300 families on the waiting list and needs to reduce the number of units subsidized because of sequestration. Closing the waiting list will give the PHA the opportunity to serve its current participants with the limited funds available.
When the PHA reopens its waiting list, it will advertise with a public notice at least 10 business days prior to the date that applications will first be accepted.
PHA staffing has also been reduced as the PHA is only receiving 69 percent of the allowable administration contract.
The Phelps County PHA, located inside the office of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission at 4 Industrial Drive in St. James, offers rental assistance to very low-income families in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Washington counties as well as Phelps County outside the city of Rolla.
People needing more information on the Phelps County PHA may call 573-265-4200.