By Michael Romain
At a September 25, Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting, Tiffany Robinson, the Executive Director of the Maywood Housing Authority (MHA), explained to the Village Board that her agency didn’t have any money to sustain it’s day-to-day operations, such as paying salaries and utility bills. Robinson said that the effects of the then-looming government shutdown, although not then known, would nonetheless alter the agency’s federal funding. Since then, the Federal government’s been shut down and reopened, but the exact status of the Housing Authority is still unknown. Ms. Robinson was unavailable for comment.
During her presentation at the LLOC meeting, Robinson explained the ramifications of MHA’s closure. “There’s a domino effect that will occur,” she said. “You have to know that this is going to hurt the community […] it’s going to hurt us in the long-run […] it affects not only workers, but families and landlords.”
According to Ms. Robinson, MHA issues housing vouchers (essentially subsidies for reduced rent) to approximately 500 families in Maywood. Those vouchers, she said, “just about pay[s] the taxes” of landlords in Maywood. The vouchers, which can only be utilized within Maywood, act as an extra incentive for individuals who qualify for Section-8 vouchers to rent in Maywood, which is supposed to help landlords fill units that may otherwise sit vacant.
According to one landlord who wished to remain anonymous, those Section-8 rentals may be keeping some property owners from foreclosure, particularly when the real estate market is distressed. If the MHA is disbanded, according to the landlord, the residency requirement for individuals who hold MHA-issued vouchers would dissolve, allowing those individuals to move to other areas.