Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hundreds seeking housing money
overwhelm Boca Raton Housing Authority

Police in riot gear had to step in, when the Boca Raton Housing Authority ran out of applications and the waiting crowd turned angry.

Photo by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

In a sign of the desperation facing Palm Beach County's poor, hundreds of people descended on the Boca Raton Housing Authority* for a chance to get on a subsidized-housing waiting list.

The wait turned ugly when hundreds still in line were told that there were only enough applications left for those with disabilities. The crowd surged forward, almost crushing mothers with children and people in wheelchairs.

The housing authority had planned to start giving applications Wednesday morning, but around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday police called executive director Judith Aigen to tell her hundreds of people were already on line. So she decided to start handing applications to those first in line.

"We didn't know there would be this many people," she said.

Two people were arrested and six to eight people hospitalized.

"We just wish somebody would have planned it better," said Police Chief Dan Alexander.

Read the Palm Beach Post article here.
* No web site that I can find -- which may be part of the problem. The last time the Orlando Housing Authority accepted applications, they were taken online and then a lottery was held to select among the hundreds who applied.


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