BEAUMONT, Texas — A plan is is in place to get more people into homes in higher opportunity areas, but the money to make it happen is a different story.
A staggering a 172 percent increase in the demand for public housing after Harvey has officials looking for more options to house residents.
A phone call that most people on the housing choice voucher program list never receive.
From the kitchen of her brand new Beaumont home, Michelle Hoose considers herself one of the lucky ones.
"When you're on Section 8, it's sometimes hard to find the location that you want to live in," Hoose said.
That's where Allison Landrum comes in.
She's the executive director of the Beaumont Housing Authority and says they are working around the clock to give people access to higher opportunity areas.
"The west end, the Major, Dowlen, Folsom area," Landrum said.
The reasons are obvious.
"That's where the better schools are. Access to jobs. We have bus lines that run there. That provides families the best grounds to start to move towards self-sufficiency," Landrum said.
Putting that plan into action has proven to be tough.
The department plans to tear down aging complexes, like Concord Homes, in favor of upgraded units in "better" areas.
But, that takes money.
Something Landrum says the city doesn't have.
"We do use 100% of every dollar that we get," Landrum said.
According to numbers from the general land office, when you add the funding allotted to Beaumont for multi-family public housing after hurricanes Rita, Ike, and Harvey, it totals more than 93 million dollars.
The money is only released if the city meets the standards laid out in the affirmatively furthering fair housing act. Guidelines that include access to high-performing schools, public transportation and diverse neighborhoods.
"If for some reason any of those standards can't be met, then that project can't be funded," Heather Lagrone, Deputy Director of the General Land Office.
She says that's exactly what happened after hurricane Ike.
The city of Beaumont requested 12 million dollars to repair the Cottonwood Apartments. Since the requirements for the project couldn't be met, 12 million dollars was reallocated to individuals across southeast Texas who needed help repairing their homes post-Ike.
So, what happens next?
With an increase in demand and a decrease in funding for public housing and Section 8 vouchers, Washington has taken notice.
Researchers sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development studied five cities across the nation, Fort Worth being one.
They found that 78 percent of landlords refused to accept Section 8 vouchers.
So, HUD secretary Ben Carson has formed a landlord task force to find common ground between owners and renters.
The task force will host listening session across the nation in hopes of repairing the foundation a department designed to help those in need, while strengthening communal ties.
This is a practice Landrum plans to execute here at home.
"In the next year, start visiting different areas of the community to hear what they would like to see the Beaumont housing authority do differently," Landrum said.
As for public housing, the city plans to use federal funding post Harvey, along with money from the sale of 100 single family homes across Beaumont to get the ball rolling on a new development for seniors, along with updated complexes for low to moderate income residents.
"We are also looking to get rid of any housing inventory that is aging and replacing it with newer housing," Landrum said.
More opportunities. What Hoose says it's all about.
Now that her children attending high-performing schools, she has access to gainful employment, and she feels safe in her home, there's one word to sum up her experience.
"I feel blessed, I do," Hoose said.
As more funding becomes available, Beaumont officials have their eyes set on new public housing projects along Folsom, Phelan, old Dowlen and Major Drive.