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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N.J. voters displaced from their homes should be allowed to print out their ballots, lawsuit says

Advocacy groups are asking a judge to order New Jersey to accommodate voters who were displaced from their homes during the coronavirus pandemic and didn’t receive a mail-in ballot.

a hand holding a book: Somerset County election ballot and voting instructions in Bridgewater, N.J. October, 3, 2020 r

© Ed Murray | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com/Ed Murray | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com/nj.com/TNS
Somerset County election ballot and voting instructions in Bridgewater, N.J. October, 3, 2020 r

The state should give voters the opportunity to receive the same kind of electronically-delivered ballot used for the military, voters who live overseas and disabled voters, the lawsuit said.

The suit, filed Wednesday in state Superior Court in Mercer County by the League of Women Voters of New Jersey and ACLU-NJ, demands the state provide this kind of ballot to displaced voters who do not receive their mail-in ballots by Oct. 30.

“As of now, displaced New Jerseyans have to wait at their mailbox in hopes that the ballot they

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