COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) — When Saratoga Sites in Cohoes closes and demolition begins, 70 families will be relocated due to their proximity to the Norlite Facility.
Joe Ritchie, who was born and raised at the housing complex and has been advocating for residents, recently moved from the site. He says this is a “needed process” but wishes more was done to punish Norlite and not residents of Saratoga Sites. “It’s a shame that this has to happen. Norlite right over the fence there. Doing what they are doing and people have to uproot their lives today.”
On Monday evening, the Cohoes Housing Authority held a meeting with the relocation company it has hired, Sav NuChapter, to let residents know how the process will play out. With recent approval of CHA’s relocation plans from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the housing authority will now take the next steps in relocating families who still call Saratoga Sites home.
“So tonight was just to notify the residents currently here that they will receive some Section 8 voucher assistance and we’re going to work with our relocation company to find some more suitable housing in the near future,” says Cohoes Housing Authority Executive Director Matthew Ethier.
As part of the process, all current residents are eligible for a Section 8 voucher. The voucher is good for 120 days after it is awarded. According to Sav NuChapter, HUD will cover relocation costs while also providing a moving company. New apartment application fees, if necessary will also be paid for by the Cohoes Housing Authority.
The Section 8 housing voucher is a federal rental assistance program. It allows families to lease affordable housing anywhere in the United States. The vouchers will be specifically set aside for families who reside at Saratoga Sites according to the housing authority. To be eligible for a voucher, residents must collect information regarding income, family size, and other necessary documents to assist in the application.
“Our job is to find housing that meets the criteria that meets Section 8 and for those who don’t quality for it. We’ll help with the move. We’ll help with the application process and try to make it as easy on everyone as possible,” says Tony Savarese of Sav NuChapter.
No official timetable has been set for when residents will have to move out but the Cohoes Housing Authority says there will be a 90 day notice.