A crush of people 30,000 strong unexpectedly turned out Wednesday in hopes of getting public housing applications in East Point, Georgia, causing a panic to ensue once the process actually began, authorities said.
Crowds began gathering in the municipality on the outskirts of Atlanta as early as Monday for the applications, officials said.
and in HuffPo:
13,000 applications were handed out.
The large numbers indicate a huge demand, but there is literally no supply. The housing agency director "stressed that none of her agency's 455 housing aid vouchers is available at the moment."
"I find this amazing," Ed Schultz said on "The Ed Show" Wednesday night. "One can only imagine watching this videotape ... how many other cities have it like this across America. And I think we have to ask ourselves the moral question, aren't we better than this?"
East Point's approximately 200 public housing units are full, according to 11Alive, and more than 400 Section 8 vouchers are already in use. It is unlikely that many of those waiting for the applications would ever receive the housing funds.
"A lot of these folks will never get off that waitlist, and the executive director of the housing authority acknowledged that today," NBC reporter Ron Mott told Schultz. "Dozens upon dozens of people passing out from the heat, standing in the heat just to apply for public housing. ... I've got to tell you, the first thought that I had when we pulled up on the scene here was whether we were in America."
This was handled badly by the housing authority and the police, though to be fair, they couldn't have anticipated such an enormous crowd.
The desperation on display here is heartbreaking.
Originally posted at MainSt/workingamerica.org