Beginning Sept. 17 through Sept. 24, HACA will begin accepting online pre-applications for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program (formerly known as Section 8) waitlist. This is the first time the list has been opened in four years.
The online application period will start at noon on Sept. 17 and remain open until 11:59 p.m. Sept. 24. Interested applicants may apply for free at www.HACAapply.org, using any device with internet access: a home computer, laptop, smart phone, tablet or any public computer located at several HACA community partner locations. Applications typically take a quick 5 to 10 minutes to complete. Persons with disabilities may request help with the application if needed by calling toll-free (888) 335-0350 during the waitlist opening.
The need for this program far exceeds available resources. In 2014, the agency received nearly 20,000 applications during its last waitlist opening and randomly selected 2,500 applications. With the 2014 waitlist nearly exhausted, HACA will again use a lottery system to randomly select 2,000 applicants for placement on the waiting list. Everyone has the same chance of being chosen whether they apply on day one or day eight. No eligibility screening will be conducted up front.
“HACA’s Housing Choice Voucher program helps low-income Austin families who would otherwise struggle to afford rent,” said HACA President and CEO Michael Gerber. “Reopening the waiting list will allow us to offer much-needed assistance to 2,000 more families, providing housing stability to families with children, seniors, and persons with disabilities.”
HACA’s voucher program currently serves about 6,000 low-income households with rental assistance. The voucher program caps the amount people pay for rent at 30 to 40 percent of their income so the rest can go toward going back to school or getting additional training. The goal is for residents to become self-sufficient through participation in the voucher program and eventually no longer require the rental assistance.
The application is free and only available through the website www.HACAapply.org. HACA cautions against using individuals or agencies that charge a fee to help complete an application.
After Sept. 24, the pre-application process will close and all completed and unduplicated applications will be entered into an online randomly-generated lottery to select the 2,000 pre-applicants for placement on the waiting list. Once the lottery is drawn, which takes a little over a month, those that applied may log into https://www.hacanet.org/2018lottery to check their status. Stay tuned for news and updates made available through HACA’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
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