An effort continues in Sioux City to help a unique family find a place to live. The family of 10 has been asked to leave the building where they are living so it can be renovated.
Christine Mcavoy has been helping the family and says a big part of the problem is finding other housing that can legally handle a family of this size. “The way the city code reads is it is two people per bedroom, plus one. And now they are in, they’re calling it a two-and-a-half bedroom apartment, so that’s really kind of fuzzy too. But there’s still way too many people in the apartment,” Mcavoy says.
The father works at Tyson and neither parent speaks English. The children range in age from a few months to 14-years-old. Mcavoy says they’ve contacted over two dozen local agencies and businesses looking for help.
Mcavoy says they have been taking in donations as they wait for a low-income housing voucher. “We’ve raised a little over a thousand dollars, which is going to help them with utility deposits, some supplemental income for rent until that voucher is available,” Macavoy says.
She says it could be several weeks up to six months before the voucher is available and then they still have to find housing. The family of Christian African immigrants have been asked to move out along with other residents of the building.
City Manager Paul Eckert says housing officials are aware of the situation and they are in close contact with the family and the landlord. Mcavoy says the family is living day-to-day in their current apartment. An account called “Family Crisis Fund” has also been set up at First National Bank.
By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City