Milwaukee Common Council to Vote on Oversight of Section 8 Housing Authority Amid Tenant Complaints

Milwaukee, Tuesday, October 10, 2023 – Residents of the city of Milwaukee who rely on housing vouchers, particularly the Section 8 Housing Program, have been demanding change for months, citing unlivable conditions in their homes and alleging that the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee has been unresponsive to their pleas. This issue, which has been closely followed by local media, could see significant progress as the Common Council prepares to vote on an ordinance that would provide oversight for the housing authority, specifically concerning Section 8 housing.

Denver McQueen, one of the many residents affected by these conditions, has been enduring substandard living conditions for years. She resides in a housing complex operated by the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, which includes Section 8 housing. Her complaints range from deteriorating walls to visible mold, bed bugs, and other pests. She has even resorted to plugging holes in her windows with tissue paper.

“It’s not fair. It’s not ethical,” Denver McQueen passionately expressed her frustration. “People like me, and many others relying on Section 8 housing, feel trapped because they’ve been here so long; they feel like they have nowhere else to go.”

In late September, with the assistance of Common Ground, over 100 residents approached city aldermen to demand change in their Section 8 housing. Denver McQueen was one of the individuals who testified about her deplorable living conditions during that meeting. Despite promises of action, nothing has been done to address the concerns raised by Denver and others in Section 8 housing.

Common Ground, a local nonprofit organization, has joined forces with affected residents in Section 8 housing to advocate for improvements. They are advocating for the city’s Department of Neighborhood Services to take on oversight of the Housing Authority, offering tenants in Section 8 housing a third-party avenue to address their concerns and protecting their legal rights.

The Common Council is expected to vote on this proposed oversight of Section 8 housing on Tuesday morning. If approved, it would represent a significant step towards ensuring that residents living in Section 8 housing in Milwaukee receive the basic living conditions they deserve.

While a representative from the Housing Authority was not available for an interview, a spokesperson issued a statement indicating their support for the actions taken by the Common Council. They also acknowledged the concerns raised by residents in Section 8 housing, committing to taking them seriously and working to resolve the issues that have been brought to their attention.

As the vote looms, Milwaukee residents living in Section 8 housing hope that this oversight measure will bring much-needed change and improvements to their living conditions, marking a turning point in their struggle for decent housing.

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