Housing authority nixes reopening of waiting list

The Lycoming County Housing Authority has no plans to re-open the public housing waiting list, despite a petition being circulated asking for that to happen.

“We only have so many homes,” said Housing Authority Executive Director MeriLyn Severson following Thursday’s regular monthly board meeting.

The decision to close the housing list for those waiting to get into homes was approved by the board last month.

It was noted at the time that more people than ever are seeking housing.

Justin Harner, of Williamsport, said he has 47 names on a petition asking the housing list to be opened up.

He said the high cost of housing in Lycoming County in recent years makes it impossible for many people to find affordable places to live.

“I was lucky enough to make it on the waiting list before it got closed,” said Harner, a married father of two children.

He said he works a minimum wage job and also has an online business,money to pay the family bills amd is fortunate enough to have a place to live with relatives while he waits for public housing to again be available.

Many others, he said, are not so lucky.

“We have generations of families living together,” he said. “They still have a hard time getting by.”

He said he’s hoping to get more signatures on the petition before presenting it to the housing authority.

Severson said she knew of no such petition.

During its meeting, the housing authority board approved a $29,900 contract for Spencer Mechanical, Inc. to do water pit renovations at the Penn Vale housing complex.