Craig Normally, the Independent Life Center has no trouble allocating 81 vouchers that assist low-income residents with housing costs. There is usually so much demand, ILC executive director Evelyn Tileston said, the organization keeps a waiting list of names.
But, after some voucher recipients weren't re-certified, and the waiting list was exhausted, the ILC now finds itself with more vouchers than people to use them.
Tileston wants that to change. She said her organization has about 10 vouchers ready and waiting for any low-income family living in Moffat or Rio Blanco counties who qualify.
"We don't want them to go unused," she said. "They help people. The first 10 qualifying families will be the first 10 to get a voucher."
Most landlords in Craig will accept the vouchers, she said.
"Our Craig landlords are pretty familiar with this by now," Tileston said.
A series of factors caused the voucher void. Tileston said better paying jobs, people moving out of the area and revocations were all contributing factors.
"Some people have gotten the good energy-industry jobs and just didn't need them anymore," she said. "And, in a few instances, we've had to revoke them."
The Colorado Division of Housing issues the vouchers to the ILC, which in turn screens applicants to determine if they qualify for program eligibility. If eligible, the ILC determines how much the applicant can afford to pay and how much the voucher can cover.
"Once someone qualifies, (the person) moves in and pays the landlord like everyone else," Tileston said. "The landlord then gets a check from the state for the balance."
The minimum monthly contribution from voucher recipients, who must have an income to be eligible, is $50.
Tileston said the program is for anyone who has a low-income.
"They are not for people who just have disabilities," she said. "They are for anyone who qualifies."
Anyone interested in the program should visit the ILC, 483 Yampa Ave., or call the agency at 826-0833. The ILC is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or firstname.lastname@example.org.