Reader's view: Online-only access cuts off some Section 8 residents
Each year, many residents of HUD Section 8 housing are required to call to obtain a recertification letter from the Social Security Administration for an award letter to be issued to them. With this letter, other services are determined for the year, such as the cost of rent, insurance premiums and the like.
As a service coordinator, I have been helping residents make the necessary call if they find they are unable to do this on their own due to health issues. We were told by Social Security Administration staff that starting next year the residents would not be allowed to call using the telephone in order to ask for the award letter. They are being required to get the letter online by computer.
This is impossible for many residents who do not own computers and do not have easy access to one. Many have never even turned one on. Most, however, have telephones and feel comfortable using them. We are formally asking that this policy of strictly using the computer not be implemented next year. It is not feasible, and we hope that the Social Security Administration will see the problems it poses for many residents.
Letters will be sent to Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar and to the Social Security Administration so we can change the upcoming policy.
The writer is the service coordinator for the Larson Commons community. This letter also was signed by 23 residents of Larson Commons.