Harlingen residents camp out overnight for Section 8 housing

Harlingen Housing Authority Executive Director Blas Cantu

Harlingen residents stood outside the Harlingen Housing Authority at all hours of the night risking dangers.

Some people even camped out on Jackson Street, hoping to be accepted for housing assistance.

Executive Director Blas Cantu said the maximum number of housing vouchers they can hand out is set at 733 at any given time.

With just $3 million in funding from Congress, they can't accommodate more.

Out of 30 applications they receive each month, only 10 applicants will be eligible and approved for housing and out of those, only about five to seven will be placed in a home.

"The people feel that the need is great enough they want to be one of those thirty, said Cantu. They are willing to come in a number of hours before the office opens. I TMm really frustrated because a lot more families need the help but then I look at it as a tax payers point. How much can we afford.

Cantu said that the economy is contributing to the high number of those in need of home and that the funding is just not there to help those in need of roof over their heads.

"Housing is used to improve the life and break the cycle so that next generations would have a better life, said Cantu.

While Cantu wishes they could help more people, he said the truth is, they are not the only agency in need of federal funds.