Section 8 Lottery

Find applications that are being accepted through June 17th 2024

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What is the Section 8 lottery and how can I apply?

When a city has an open Section 8 waiting list, it will usually be overwhelmed with applicants. There will be literally thousands of applications submitted to that housing authority. In order to not make it a “first come, first served scenario, most housing authorities implement a Section 8 lottery system. Each agency has a cap on the number of vouchers it is authorized to administer. An agency’s number of “authorized vouchers” is essentially the sum of the vouchers the agency has been awarded since the start of the voucher program. Each year, Congress provides some new vouchers. Since 2003, new vouchers have been either “tenant-protection” vouchers (which replace either public housing that is demolished or sold or other affordable housing units that lose federal subsidies) or “special purpose” vouchers (which are aimed at particular types of households, such as homeless veterans).

HUD funding each year is based on the number of their authorized vouchers in use in the prior year and the actual cost of those vouchers, adjusted for inflation. If Congress provides less overall funding than agencies are due, each agency’s funding is reduced proportionately. Funding for new vouchers and administrative costs is provided separately. Agencies participating in the Moving-to-Work demonstration are funded under their agreements. Vouchers sharply reduce homelessness and other hardships, lift more than a million people out of poverty, and give families an opportunity to move to safer, less-poor neighborhoods unlike Southside Chicago’s Housing authority.

Vouchers sharply reduce homelessness and other hardships, lift more than a million people out of poverty, and give families an opportunity to move to safer, less poor neighborhoods. These effects, in turn, are closely linked to educational, developmental, and health benefits that can improve children’s long-term prospects and reduce costs in other public programs. Most voucher households that can locate a Section 8 apartment application and apply, are reasonably be expected to work, do work. In 2016, 69 percent of non-elderly, non-disabled households using vouchers were working or had worked recently, while an additional 10 percent were likely subject to a work requirement under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Moreover, vouchers enable more than 1.1 million elderly or disabled individuals to afford to live independently.

During the course of a Section 8 lottery in a major city like Chicago, 40,000 applicants might apply for Section 8 and have the privilege of being on their Section 8 lottery waiting list? That begs some other questions. Like how many are now on the total wait list? You will hardly hear anyone today ask the question, What is Section 8. Most low income families and individuals are well aware of this rental assistance program and aspire to be on it someday.

This is an excerpt from the Skokie Public Library website describing the opportunity for the lottery: “Through RentBetter, also known as the Chicago Housing Choice Voucher program, 40,000 residents will be chosen to be on a Wait List for vouchers that will allow them to pay only 30 to 40% of their adjusted income for rent for housing in the private market. To get on the Wait List, individuals or families must register for a lottery; registration opened April 17th and closes on May 15th. In late May, 40,000 names will be randomly chosen for the Wait List. As vouchers become available, those on the list will be contacted to determine if they still need housing and meet the income requirement and other criteria. Voucher holders can use the voucher toward rent on their existing housing, provided the rent meets program guidelines and the housing passes an inspection, or they can find another apartment, townhome or house in the private market. Eligibility for RentBetter depends on total family income, and income limits are revised annually; current limits range from about $26,000 a year for an individual to $50,000 a year for a family of four. When a Housing Authority has an open waiting list, that is the only way to complete a Section 8 application form and get on the Section 8 lottery waiting list.

How can I become a member of the Section 8 and Subsidized Housing Online Packet (SEC 8 PKT)?

The Section 8 and Subsidized Housing Online Packet is an information retrieval service that helps low income families and individuals find various programs that could benefit them. The Online Packet has no government affiliation, an outstanding source to locate this information indefinitely. The Housing List Blog is unique to the Online Packet and helps low income tenants and landlords find each other.