by Nick Delgado
Guam - The demand for public housing assistance is extremely high as thousands of island residents wait for resources to become available. Some residents may not have the luxury of waiting much longer.
65-year-old Umatac native Jose Aguon hasn't had an easy life in recent years. "I seeking for help," he said. A disabled Government of Guam employee, Aguon suffered a stroke in 2005. Three years later he got an infection that traveled up his leg. He's since had two surgeries and had to have his other leg amputated due to gangrene diabetes.
"I cannot do anything, walk or work because my amputation," he shared. His medical conditions have worsened and he now has an infection in his hip resulting in numerous trips to the clinic. "Right now it's hard for me, because its only my wife working now and she really works hard taking care of myself."
"Because of his medical condition, we have to often come in and see the doctor," said hid wife Cecilia. The Aguons who are now left with a more than $80,000 hospital bill have since lost their home and are barely able to make ends meet to pay rent.
Nearly six years ago they applied for housing assistance with GHURA "I was told like many other who are on the waiting list, of course I am patient enough to sit back," he recalled. "I really feel for him, I haven't spoken to the gentlemen but there is nothing is the federal regulations that allow me to prioritize based on the severity of the disability or situation," said Ray Topasna, GHURA director.
Topasna says there are currently 6,035 families on the waiting list for Section 8 and public housing - the Aguons are currently number 2,069. "We are doing the best we can with the resources we have, we are not just sitting idle and running the housing programs but trying to think of creative ways outside the box," he said. "I wish we could house the 6,035 families on the waiting list and nearly every day I get a similar inquiry from an individual with a disability."
While Topasna hopes to revive plans to renovate and expand the Guma Trankilidat homes for senior citizens, Aguon and others like him are left hoping a solution comes quick before they are left on the streets. "We are just holding on and waiting for it. I cannot move, I cannot move," he said.
"All I need is assistance from their housing so they could help us in our finance."