Previously here at Texas Houser’s, we noted the Dallas Housing Authority lost 13,000 applications to its Section 8 program. Under the Section 8 program, officially termed the “Housing Choice Voucher Program,” families may apply to receive vouchers to help them pay a percentage or portion of their rent.
Dallas reopened its Section 8 waitlist for two days in May and received 21,691 applications. 5,000 of those applications will be randomly selected, not for housing, but to be kept on the waitlist. The other 16,691 applications will be discarded.
This situation isn’t unique to Dallas. Around the state, many are feeling the pressure from rising needs for affordable housing and tight budgets that do not allow the programs to expand.
Last month, Plano shut down their waitlist after they got 8,000 applications (for 100 vouchers) in 2.5 hours.
According to a press release from the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso (HACEP), the waitlist for “Section 8” in that city opened May 9 and ran through May 29. The Housing Authority predicts a 2-4 year wait for the vouchers for successful applications. HACEP receives approximately $28 million in federal funds each year from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide more than 5,300 housing choice vouchers to nearly 20,000 El Pasoans.
In the Deep East Texas Council of Government (DETCOG)’s Housing Authority, leaders are searching for other solutions to ease the housing problem in the area. Warren Diggles, the DETCOG Executive Director, said over 2,000 families have been waiting on the Section 8 list for over three years.
In Houston and Austin, the waiting list for the Section 8 program was last open in 2006, according to the City of Austin Housing Authority and the Houston Housing Authority. Austin is predicts their list will remain closed until 2013, Houston doesn’t forecast when their list may reopen.
Elizabeth Nowrouz and Kevin Jewell contributed to this blog post.