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Waiting And Hoping For A Miracle: Burges Struggled To Find Affordable Housing

Burges, a senior, struggled to find safe and decent housing for herself due to the lack of availability and brings to light the struggles the seniors have to face.

May 22, 2023

The 72-year-old senior, residing at Starnes Senior Residences in Clarkston, Georgia relocated along with her husband and two children 700 miles away south to the Peach State two decades ago due to the deep love for family and the pursuit of the American dream.

Upon arriving, Pennsylvania native and entrepreneur planned to open a beauty salon like the one she had in her hometown but she was obliged to provide for her family and so took up managerial professional roles instead of opening a salon.

As time passed, Burges built a solid life for themselves. The family had a six-bedroom home and managed to raise two generations- their children and grandchildren in the same home. Burges husband was the breadwinner of the family.

Unfortunately, things changed and her marriage was at a crossroads, and was separated from her husband. When separated, she had no place to live.

Burges said, “ I went to the housing authority of Dekalb County. I submitted an application in 2018. I was told I was going to be on a waiting list, so from there I was checking often to see if I was getting closer to being picked up for housing, seem like it was going on and on and I didn’t hear anything”.

Burges waited for three years and hoped for a miracle to happen. She applied for the Project-based Voucher in 2020 and got approved. She moved into Starnes Senior Residences, a senior living facility owned by the Housing Authority of Dekalb County.

It is a four-story mid-rise building having 128 small one-bedroom apartments. Only ten residents managed to get a Project Based Voucher from the housing authority in 2021. Those in charge of the Housing Choice Voucher program at the Housing Authority of Dekalb County is Sybil Pinson.

Sybil Pinson says that it is normal for seniors to wait for years for housing because of the lack of availability. Still, more than 20,000 people are waiting for housing.

Pinson says, “Seniors are just more stable; they don’t move as frequently, so we often, you know, have very few vacancies and opportunities for seniors to come off the waiting lists into the property”.

Seniors struggling to find housing is not only a problem in Georgia but is happening across the nation. The Department of Housing and Urban Development says that seniors face several housing obstacles when looking for affordable housing.

The seniors population of Georgia is expected to touch 3 Million by 2040 which in turn will aggravate Georgia’s senior housing crisis.

The grandmother feels great about finding safe and secure affordable housing for herself. She loves everything about being at Starnes.

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The content provided in this article draws inspiration and includes quotes from various reputable sources, including news articles, government data, and interviews. Affordable Housing 411 strives to ensure accuracy and credibility, but the information presented may be based on some external sources. We encourage readers to refer to the referenced materials for more in-depth insights and verification.

Hudson LaShawn. “Waiting and praying: One senior in Clarkston’s story to find affordable housing”. Wabe, May 22, 2023

Waiting and praying: One senior in Clarkston’s story to find affordable housing – WABE

Last Updated: September 20, 2021