Seniors beg commissioners to reconsider returning $5M meant for affordable housing

SOUTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — The federal government gave one of our local counties more than $5 million to specifically help low- and fixed-income residents, mostly seniors.

But they won't get that money over the next 5 years, because some elected officials decided there is too much red tape to hand that money out.

Fulton County commissioners decided to send that $5 million back to the federal government, and more than 100 senior citizens showed up to a commission meeting Wednesday begging them not to do that.

The meeting ended just after 5 p.m. and they didn't even discuss reconsidering that vote.

“You need to have a change in your heart,” resident Martha Alexander said.

Dozens of seniors citizens stood in front of the Fulton County Commission Wednesday, demanding they reconsider a vote they took last month.

On Dec. 18, four commissioners voted to get rid of HUD housing.

Hud is a federal agency that helps low- or fixed-income residents – who can’t afford rent or mortgage… that mostly affects seniors.

Through HUD, the federal government gave Fulton County more than $5 million over 5 years to fund programs for residents who need them.

However, according to the Fulton County Manager Dick Anderson, managing the money is too difficult, there's too much red tape to go through, so commissioners are giving the money back to the federal government.

Alexander, 86, begged commissioners to reconsider that decision.

“Some of the seniors don’t have food to put on their tables. Some have homes (and) they can’t stay in them because of the laws that you made,” Alexander said.

More than a hundred people stood in line to say the same thing, and at one point, commissioner Marvin Arrington, who voted against giving the money back, asked the commission chair Rob Pitts to just put out a motion to reconsider the vote.

Pitts didn’t do that.

Pitts ended the meeting Wednesday without saying one word about reconsidering the vote.

Arrington thinks that was a bad idea, especially because the people it hurt the most sat there for hours, pouring their hearts out for nothing.