WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Housing Authority Opens Waiting Lists

Macomb, IL – The Housing Authority of McDonough County has re-opened some of its public housing waiting lists, but don't expect to rent a unit any time soon.

Applications are being accepted for three and four bedroom units at Greenbrier in Bushnell, as are applications for four to five bedroom units at Prairie Homes in Macomb.

But agency director Bill Jacobs says people seeking smaller units will have to wait even longer.

"The waiting list is only open at this time for the larger bedroom sizes at Prairie View and Greenbrier," says Jacobs. "That's because we have extensive waiting lists for the one and two bedroom apartments at Prairie View and the two bedroom apartments at Greenbrier in Bushnell."

Jacobs says the waiting list is also closed at Eisenhower Tower in Macomb.

He says the waiting lists are long because once people move into a unit, they tend to stay for at least a couple of years. He says units offered through the Housing Authority of McDonough County are not reminiscent of the public housing stereotype (25-30 story high rises in inner cities), but are nice, well maintained homes, many of which come with new appliances.

Jacobs says having the public housing option available is not just important in cities, but rural areas too. He says those who apply to live in one of the apartments must meet certain criteria.

"Not just anybody can qualify for public housing," Jacobs says. "We are not the housing of the last resort. It is a privilege to be able to live in public housing, and we treat people accordingly."

Jacobs says some of the agency's criteria, or preferences, are whether the applicant lives or works in McDonough County, has some type of disability, is elderly, or is the victim of domestic violence among other criteria.

Rental units the housing authority oversees are income restricted. That means those making more than a certain amount per year are ineligible.