The city of Bowling Green is getting 30 additional Section 8 housing vouchers to be specifically used for people with disabilities.

In September, the Bowling Green City Commission approved applying for 100 additional vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for people with disabilities between the ages of 18 and 62, or for families with a qualifying disabled person.

The city recently learned, however, that it is only getting 30 vouchers, which were formally accepted by the city commission at its meeting Tuesday.

The city has a strong need for such vouchers, said Brent Childers, the city’s director of neighborhood and community services, after the meeting.

“We could have (used) the 100,” he said.

Section 8 pays a portion of housing costs based on the voucher holder’s income.

The city currently has 616 housing vouchers through various programs, but with a waiting list of about 750, it can take up to 31/2 years to get a voucher. The waiting list for those who would qualify for the new vouchers is almost 200, Childers said.

A recent housing study commissioned by the city showed there is a large demand for affordable housing and housing assistance in Bowling Green.

The study showed that more than 45 percent of renter-occupied households in the city are considered cost-burdened by federal standards (meaning renters pay more than 30 percent of their income toward housing) and 25 percent are severely cost-burdened (pay more than 50 percent of their income toward housing).

The city expects to start giving out the new vouchers starting Feb. 1. “We’re appreciative” for the 30 vouchers, Childers said, “and we will continue to look for more.”

Also Tuesday, commissioners accepted a $256,200 grant from the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security to purchase an emergency response vehicle for the police department.

The vehicle will be used by the city’s Critical Response Team to respond to scenarios such as natural disasters or active shooter situations. The vehicle will have ballistic armor and off-road capabilities and can carry as many as 20 civilians in need of evacuation.

– Follow News Director Wes Swietek on Twitter @BGDNgovtbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.

– Follow News Director Wes Swietek on Twitter @BGDNgovtbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.

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