Hundreds line the block around the Microbusiness Enterprise Center to apply for rental assistance Friday.
ALBANY Hundreds of people braved the gnats and the heat for a chance at some assistance on rent payments Friday morning, with many turned away do to limited funding.
The tenant-based rental assistance program is part of the HUD-funded HOME Program, which aims to help low-to-moderate income people into quality housing, Community and Economic Development Director LaToya Cutts said.
"The program is a primarily for those who are elderly, disabled or homeless," Cutts said. "But the caveat is that they have to work; they have to have some sort of income because this is a subsidy. It does not completely pay someone's rent."
Friday morning, the city's CED department opened their doors to prospective applicants and had people in line and waiting around the building at 8 a.m.
"In this community we do have a lot of people who have a need for help when it comes to affordable housing," Cutts said. "Our comprehensive plan does indicate that there is a need for affordable housing and options for low-to-moderate income families to be able to live in affordable housing. This helps those people to be able to live in affordable housing."
According to 2010 Census data, roughly 6.6 percent of the city's 77,000 residents are living outside of traditional households and are either homeless or living in some form of transitional housing.
There are 33,436 total housing units within the city, 89.1 percent, or 29,781, of which are occupied, according to census figures.
Of the occupied housing total, a staggering 58.3 percent or 17,349, were renters. More than 10 percent of those were over the age to be considered "elderly" by the HOME program.