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Wichita, Sedgwick County Looking To Consolidate Housing Programs

Mark Moz
flickr Creative Commons

The City of Wichita and Sedgwick County are in the process of consolidating their housing authority programs to help provide more efficient service.

Under the new agreement, Wichita will take over Sedgwick County’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, which helps income-eligible renters find housing on the private market.

Currently, the Wichita Housing Authority administers 2700 vouchers within city limits. Sedgwick County’s housing authority—which also covers Butler and Harvey counties--administers about 340 vouchers.

Assistant County Counselor Justin Waggoner says it’s more efficient for the city to take on those additional vouchers.

“Secondly, the thought was that there would also be some more ease for landlords and tenants to have one point of contact within the county as opposed to two,” he said during a presentation before the Sedgwick County Commission Wednesday.

Public housing authorities in both the city and county work with renters and landlords to make sure they meet certain federal guidelines.

"Essentially they're the same regulations that apply, whether it's the Wichita Housing Authority or the Sedgwick county Housing Authority," Waggoner said.

The city and Sedgwick County have both approved the consolidation. Butler and Harvey Counties will take up resolutions next week.

If they pass, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would have to give the plan final approval. A transfer would take place on Jan. 1, 2018.