For the first time in 13 years, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) will open the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List Lottery which will provide rental assistance to qualified applicants. HACLA President and CEO Douglas Guthrie joined Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to make the announcement during a press conference on October 2 at the Los Angeles Central Library.
Tamara Meeks sat in the front row as the Mayor made the announcement about the opening of the lottery process. Meeks first applied for the Section 8 voucher in 2004 when the wait list last opened up. Because every Section 8 voucher is already claimed and there is no additional federal budget for the program, the only way to move up the waiting list is for someone who has a voucher to relinquish it. Luckily for Meeks, she was able to make it to the top of the wait list after thirteen years. “I encourage people to sign up. It may take some time but being patient definitely pays off.” Currently, Meeks is searching for a new apartment.
Mayor Eric Garcetti encouraged all Angelenos to apply for the program. “Angelenos deserve housing they can afford, no matter their income. People who are eligible should apply for the Section 8 subsidy program – and we’ll keep fighting to build more affordable housing that gives every family the opportunity to find safe, stable places to live.”
Landlord participants of the Section 8 program since 1981, Luis Darmiento and his wife Madalaine Smith, also attended the press conference to show support and to encourage other landlords to sign up for the program. “Don’t be afraid to go on Section 8!” exclaimed Darmiento. He praised HACLA Section 8 staff for streamlining the renting process for the landlords. Darmiento owns nine Section 8 units and currently has one vacancy, which he plans to advertise using HACLA’s website.
The application for the waiting list lottery is scheduled to open starting Monday, October 16, 2017 at 6:00 AM until Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 5:00 PM. Applications are available only online through hacla.hcvlist.org.
“We are very pleased to be opening our Section 8 waiting list after 13 years. Rental subsidy programs reduce poverty, housing instability and homelessness. The opening of HACLA’s Section 8 Wait List lottery will help thousands of families who struggle to pay for housing on a fixed-income,” said Douglas Guthrie, HACLA President and CEO. “We’ve ensured that the online application is easy to access and complete, and we’ve also provided information on the website to assist applicants, such as how-to-apply videos and answers to questions that applicants may have about the program and their eligibility.”
At the end of the application period, HACLA will use a computer-randomized lottery to select up to 20,000 applicants for placement on the Section 8 Waiting List. A preference for assistance will be given to applicants who live or work in the City of Los Angeles and to applicants who are veterans or have a household member who is a veteran, released from such military service under conditions other than dishonorable. As funding is available, HACLA will contact applicants for program eligibility determinations.