The Columbia Housing Authority next month will accept applications for highly sought Section 8 housing vouchers.
Low-income residents can apply online starting at 9 a.m. July 21. The application period will end at noon July 22.
Applications are available only online at www.chasc.org. The Housing Authority will use a lottery system to select 2,000 applicants to be vetted for the vouchers.
But thousands more than that are expected to apply, as they have each time the Housing Authority has opened its waiting lists.
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“We know that we’re going to get that. This is what everybody wants,” Housing Authority planning director Nancy Stoudenmire said. “They just want to find a place to live based on where they work, where they go to school.”
Last month, more than 8,000 people applied for vouchers and public housing assistance during a two-week period. And that assistance was limited – the vouchers, for instance, applied only to three north Columbia apartment complexes.
More than 31,000 people applied for Section 8 vouchers during an open period in 2014. Of the 2,000 applicants accepted after a lottery then, roughly 700 remain on the waiting list, Stoudenmire said.
The Housing Authority has about 400 vouchers to give out and expects to deplete its waiting list over the next month, she said. Some applicants still on the waiting lists might not want assistance or have left the Midlands by now, she said.
Residents from across the country can apply, but if selected they must use the voucher in Richland County for a year before taking it elsewhere. The vouchers are used to subsidize rent payments.