6 families with housing vouchers still await homes after being displaced by derecho

HIAWATHA — LaKricia Browning traded a house with a yard that was close to family for an apartment in Hiawatha.

But she’s grateful.

“We don’t have a backyard anymore, but it’s actually bigger than my house and we have a hallway if there’s a storm,” said Browning, 26.

Browning and her children are among 23 Cedar Rapids-area families who participate in the federal Housing Choice Voucher program whose rental units were heavily damaged in the Aug. 10 derecho. Most of the families have moved into new houses or apartments, but six families still are waiting two months later.

“We continue to work with these families to find housing and most are staying with family in the interim,” said Sara Buck, Cedar Rapids Housing Programs manager. “We want to ensure families are happy with their housing, which includes things like proximity to their children’s school, or close to where they work.

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