Walton County affordable housing hard to find

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - According to a recent study, Walton County is the fifth fastest growing county in the United States.

A recent study named unaffordable and inaccessible housing a top health issue in Walton County. (WJHG/WECP)

With that, comes difficulties finding a place to live.

"Basically, there is just a tremendous shortage of homes that are available," said Tom Baker, executive director of the Walton County Housing Agency.

Families can apply for housing vouchers if they need help.

If the family gets the housing voucher, they have to find a home in Walton County within four months or reapply.

“And it's an endless game, and they do, they come back and reapply and they continue to look until something comes available," Baker said.

He said right now 71 families are looking for affordable housing and about 40 more will get vouchers this month.

"We need to ask these questions and try to find out what might be done in the future to remedy this problem, because I don't see it getting any better on its own," said Baker.

As more people move to Walton County, many of them are struggling to find affordable housing, so they're moving up to DeFuniak Springs, but are finding that most of the jobs are outside the area.

Matrix Community Outreach Center President Eric Joyner says affordable housing is important to the economy of Walton County.

"We're trying to grow our city business-wise and the economy, and you can't grow it if there's nowhere to live, you know, so it's hard to grow a business if you can't have employees living close and they have to commute so far," said Joyner.

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