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Many applicants, few winners in Chattanooga Housing Authority lottery

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Tashika Hambright, left, and Marcia Hambright, right, cheer as Kateshia Schneider, center, has her number called during a housing lottery at the Chattanooga Housing Authority on Friday. Photo by Doug Strickland. Tashika Hambright, left, and Marcia Hambright, right, cheer as Kateshia Schneider, center, has her number called during a housing lottery at the Chattanooga Housing Authority on Friday. Photo by Doug Strickland.
CHATTANOOGA -

(Times Free Press) -- Michelle Crutch came to the Chattanooga Housing Authority hopeful for housing. Nearly an hour later, she left in tears.

"My husband lost his job two years ago," said Crutch, a 35-year-old mother of four whose home is in foreclosure. "That took our income from $123,000 a year to $370 a week. So we saw this as an opportunity. We said, 'It's worth a try.'"

Crutch was one of only a handful of people who sat scattered in seats Friday at the Chattanooga Housing Authority for a lottery drawing to decide who will become a resident at CHA's two newest housing developments, Fairmount Avenue Apartments in North Chattanooga and Maple Hills Apartments off North Chamberlain Avenue.

Only 18 units are available at Fairmount and 48 units at Maple Hills, but more than 600 people applied. The Fairmount development is scheduled to be finished in March, while Maple Hills will be ready for occupancy in September.

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