PITTSBURG, Kans. — The City of Pittsburg is helping its low income residents. Tuesday night the City Commission approved something that will help more people afford rent.

“Right now we have seen a large increase of rent going up in Pittsburg and so our payment standards are not reflecting that,” said Megan Keener, Housing Manager for Pittsburg Public Housing Authority.

Tuesday night, the Pittsburg City Commission approved increasing its Section 8 payment standards.

“It would affect the individuals that are currently housed and we would adjust the rent. And we would contact the individuals who currently have vouchers and let them know the payment increased. And then moving forward our applicants will have a better chance,” Keener added.

Right now there are about 300 individuals using the program — and 200 are on the waiting list.

“It allows more tenants to be able to be housed. We will be able to move through our waiting list a lot faster than we currently are,” she said.

Anyone receiving the Section 8 vouchers will see a $100 to $150 increase — depending on rental size.

“With the increase of the payment standards we might actually get more landlords that are interested in using the program due to the higher payment standards,” Keener said.

“The payment standard increase is a huge benefit for our community,” said Quentin Holmes, Director of Community Development and Housing. “I really hope that it allows for us to house more individuals in our community with the program.”

This is the first increase in payment standards over the past five years.

The program will go into effect June first.