United Way, MSHDA help residents leave Saginaw apartments - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

United Way, MSHDA help residents leave Saginaw apartment buildings

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SAGINAW (WJRT) -

(10/25/12) - The clock is ticking on some low-income residents in two downtown Saginaw buildings.

They have to leave the Bancroft and Eddy Apartments in Saginaw by mid-November, because the owners have relinquished control to the state.

Some residents were having trouble finding enough money to relocate, but the United Way and the state are helping out.

Residents got low-income housing vouchers that could be transferred to another apartment or home.

But some also had to come up with a security deposit at their new place, and getting enough money for that can be difficult.

The Bancroft and Eddy Apartments have housed low income tenants since 1982. About a year ago, the federal government and the state told about 150 residents the Section 8 contract on the buildings was ending.

Since then, they have been finding new places to live, but about 55 people remain in the two buildings, which sit in the heart of downtown Saginaw.

Finding new homes wasn't the biggest problem. Cherie Benchley from the United Way of Saginaw County explains.

"They were having trouble providing the deposit to get in," Benchley said.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority heard about the problem, and with the mid-November deadline looming, provided a grant to the United Way to help with security deposit money.

"I actually found my place a week ago," said Jasmine Lawrence.

Lawrence has a 4-year-old son. Without a job, she didn't have enough money for a security deposit. But with the help of the state grant, she can move out of the Eddy building.

"I was very happy about that because I don't know where I was going to get the money," she said.

"If it didn't happen, literally, these people could be living on the streets, and we don't want them there, and there wasn't room for them to be in shelters," Benchley said.

As far as the future of the Bancroft and Eddy Buildings, MSHDA is still going over bids from several developers.

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