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Charlotte Area

Soon many public housing residents must work or risk subsidies

http://66.225.205.104/LM20090313.mp3

Charlotte residents who live in public housing or receive government vouchers to pay rent will soon risk their subsidies if they have no job. The Charlotte Housing Authority says it's one of 30 agencies across the country that will soon require many of its residents to work. 

By spring of 2011, one member of each household must be working at least 30 hours a week to receive a full housing subsidy. However, CHA says those residents who can show they're actively pursuing jobs, or receiving work training will continue receiving financial help.

Chris Wolf, an affordable housing advocate, says it's the right time to phase in the program, but he says the agency must keep its expectations modest. "I think we have to be realistic about the results we're going to expect from people because taking a fragile population who is not mainstreamed into the work force and expect them to mainstream in to the workforce in this economy is pretty rough," explains Wolf.

The CHA says it plans to work with other agencies to provide more support for residents including job training, child care and transportation services as they try to find employment.