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Americans Queue Up for Low Income Housing

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday spoke to state representatives about how to spend their portion of the $787 billion stimulus plan. Many Americans hope the money trickles down to their communities to create jobs and ease financial stress.

The line stretches down a city block and around the corner. Residents clutch applications for affordable apartment rentals. Jessica Burnett stood in line overnight with her baby.

"This is the only subsidized place, low income place open in God knows how long," she said. "I got out here at nine last night with my baby and I'm just praying that I get a place."

But the wait doesn't guarantee an apartment. It simply gives qualified applicants a place on the waiting list for apartments that might become available. A spokesman for the management company says right now, none of the 460 units is vacant.

Marina Iraheta and her brother are both unemployed. They live with their father. Rent would be based on his income.

"Right now we're living in an apartment, but it's very expensive now," Marina said.

Harvie Dukes wants a place close by to take care of his 74-year-old mother.

"Only thing I need right now, is to just get me an apartment," he said. "Get my place of my own where I have my own keys and everything. That way I can call it home."

This is what can happen in the inner city as the United States suffers through an economic crisis.

President Obama on Thursday greeted representatives of the 50 U.S. states who are learning about their share of the $787 billion stimulus package approved by Congress. The plan contains grants to finance construction and modernization of low income housing.

"I think you guys will do extraordinary work with using these precious tax dollars that the American people have given up in order to deliver on the kind of economic growth - short-term and long-term - and job creation that's going to be so important. But we're going to need to work really hard and we're going to have to make sure that every single dollar is well spent," President Obama said.

It's money that gives these residents hope.

"It will mean a lot to me, me and my family," Marina said. "[To] finally have a place to be at, it will be nice."