Single mom accuses San Antonio Housing Authority of preferential treatment

New SAHA work preference pilot incentive program set to launch

Author: April Molina, Investigative Reporter, amolina@ksat.com
Published On: Sep 05 2012 05:24:11 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 05 2012 10:00:03 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

A single mother of three on the the list for San Antonio public housing wants to know if she's a case of 'falling through the cracks.'

When Georgette Maldonado returned home from the hospital after delivering her third child two years ago, she found out she had been robbed.

"I just started bouncing, six months here, two months here, three months there. People try to take us in and there's only so much they can do," Maldonado said.

She applied for public housing two years ago, and she said she has made countless attempts to get help ever since.

"I've called every program. I've emailed, I've written, I've called, I've talked to them and they all just kind of look at me and say I'm sorry you have to wait your turn," Maldonado recalled.

Melanie Villalobos, with the San Antonio Housing Authority, said it's normal to wait two years, in fact it's normal to wait even longer in some cases.

Maldonado complained she's been given a slew of explanations over the years.

"There's not funding for case workers to be able to assist folks who are on the waiting lists, or who want to be informed about what all the opportunities are at that point," Villalobos said.

What has also been frustrating for Maldonado is getting preferential treatment.

"When I personally know people that applied for housing and they get it a month later, it's kind of a bitter pill to swallow," Maldonado said.

The San Antonio Housing Authority does have a list of preferences that can boost some to the top of the list, and there will soon be a new preference, a work preference pilot program.

"We want to encourage working families, we want to encourage self-sufficiency," Villalobos said.

The program, scheduled to kick off in a couple of months, will give working parents like Maldonado the incentive to keep it up.

"I'm not asking for you to give me a house, I'm asking for a hand up," Maldonado said.

Villalobos is hoping a new website, scheduled to launch in October, will help answer questions applicants have and keep all of the information about the various programs in one centralized location.

For a list of recent stories April Molina has done, click here.