Sanford only has 6 public housing apartments available

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SANFORD, Fla. - WFTV found out there are only six public housing project apartments available in the entire city of Sanford.

Those units are operated by the Sanford Housing Authority, which has been plagued by problems over recent years.

WFTV's Bianca Castro asked federal housing officials why the city still has a local housing authority.

The six units are surrounded by rows and rows of condemned apartments that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said have to be demolished.

Angela Purdue waited three years to become one of the six tenants inside Sanford's only useable public housing.

"I had been on the waiting list for three years so I was shocked when they called," she said.

And she considers herself lucky. Two hundred people are on the waiting list to move in. So many, that officials closed the list altogether.

Now, some question the Sanford Housing Authority's purpose. It has no Section 8 voucher program and just those six apartments in its inventory.

WFTV asked HUD officials why not just dissolve the Sanford Housing Authority?

They said that's not their decision to make.

Commissioners at City Hall are the ones with the jurisdiction to dissolve the authority. And that can't happen until they get the money to demolish all the buildings.

Those who need public housing don't have many options.

The Orlando Housing Authority will open up the housing voucher waiting list to Sanford residents in October.

Then there's the Seminole County Housing Authority in Oviedo.

"We have 30 public housing units of various sizes. The wait is probably around two to four years," said Shannon Young, executive director of Seminole County Housing Authority.

The Sanford Housing Authority still faces lawsuits and federal audit reports. Cleaning the mess could take up to five years. Demolition is still years away as well.

Once the condemned units are demolished, the Sanford City Commission will have to decide whether to build new apartments or sell the land.