NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodValdosta


Documentary on affordable housing shines spotlight on homeless Valdosta neighbors

Area filmmaker Steven Heddon is spotlighting housing issues Valdosta in his latest film to help get funding to the city.
Posted at 7:30 PM, Oct 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-24 19:30:40-04
  • Over 175,000 applicants have applied for the Georgia Housing Choice voucher, with only 13,00o spots available.
  • Over 96% of government sponsored affordable housing uints are occupied in the city.
  • Watch the video to see how one neighbor has been struggling with homelessness in the wake of Hurricane Idalia.


Valdosta will be hitting the silver screen in hopes of getting the 'golden' ticket: a voucher for housing assistance.

I'm Malia Thomas, in Valdosta, and I'm at the Partnership to End Homelessness to see how one neighbor is relying on housing funds.

"It's the worst feeling."

Meet Lisa Comer. I ran into her at Partnership.

Everything had been going well until Hurricane Idalia hit, devastating her home and forcing her to seek housing assistance.

She has been living in her car.

A home she put a $1,000 payment on won't be available until November.

FEMA has only been able to provide her with $2,000, which quickly ran out due to expenses brought on by the hurricane.

"So Lisa, I've been having a hard time pinning you down you today…can you kind of explain why it's been so hard to catch you?"

"Because like we my daughter was sleep it's hard to get her up and then I have dogs then I put everything in the car and get everything organized and it's like it's so much to live out of car to get all that stuff together."

Right now, there's red tape around Section 8 housing help for people like Lisa.

She tells me she doesn't know where and her daughter go from here.

I checked with the Valdosta Housing Authority.

The Section 8 vouchers provided by the Valdosta HA tend to cover most of the expenses and are of great assistance to families that are struggling.

Like with general affordable housing, demand is easily 4 to 5 times greater than supply.

"Oh it's a headache because it it it's stressful because to wait on somebody to help you."

I also met up with area filmmaker Steven Heddon.

He's been working on a documentary about the state of affordable housing in the city.

The plan is to show the film to decision makers who could help.

He says the need is urgent...especially for those living in a camp near the Valdosta Mall.

"They're living with tarps over their heads they they're not as protected from the weather as they could be for their health and then you know they're basically living day-to-day with what they have."

While the Georgia Housing Choice voucher will be helping 13,00 people across the state, I'm still working to find out how much it will help Valdosta.

In Valdosta, I'm Malia Thomas, ABC27.