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4 Year Wait List for Subsidized Housing in Medford

There is a four year wait list with more than 4,000 families for subsidized housing through the Housing Authority of Jackson County.

Posted: Nov. 7, 2017 4:28 PM
Updated: Nov. 7, 2017 6:28 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- There is a four year wait list with more than 4,000 families for subsidized housing through the Housing Authority of Jackson County. 

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73-year-old Michele Vaughn was lucky, she's only been on the waitlist for one year. 

"Moving here saved my life. I'm just now getting to the point where I can call it home," says Vaughm. 

In 2011 her husband of 40 years died, her house foreclosed, and she was left homeless living in a hotel with her granddaughter.

"It's scary not to know where you're going to sleep or where you're going to eat. It really is," says Vaughn. 

Michele applied for subsidized housing through the Housing Authority of Jackson County. It's a program that provides rent based off of income, if you can get off the waitlist. Within a year Michele and her granddaughter were able to leave a $900 a month motel for a $530 a month apartment. 

The Housing Authority has 1500 units available, and they say it's not nearly close to what the community needs. They say we are in the middle of a housing crisis. 

"The need is limitless," says Jason Elzy, the Executive Director of Housing Authority. 

Elzy says it's more costly to build housing now more than ever, "The incomes in our valley don't support rent, which doesn't support construction costs to build rental housing."

Elzy says there isn't a magic bullet to fix this problem. He says we need to look at the barriers in our own communities and start fixing the problem locally. 

The Housing Authority is currently building three more complexes to meet demands, and they expect to have them up and running by 2019. 

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