The Lake Charles Housing Authority is reopening the waiting list for Section 8 for one week only.
This will mark the first time the list has been open since March 2014.
"Section 8 is never closed simply because we still are providing housing assistance to participants under the program," said Chief Compliance Officer Deborah Doshier. "We just limit the opening of the list as to when we have both available vouchers and HUD funding."
During the last 1-week only opening in 2014, lines wrapped around the building and over 1500 applications were received. While many put on the waiting list then have found homes, some applied, were approved, and never found a place to live because of availability.
Few or no vacancies in Section 8 housing still remains an issue not just in the city, but across Calcasieu Parish.
Housing officials across the parish say many homeowners and apartments are leaving the Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher program in hopes of making more money in the private sector - where rent is higher, meaning less affordable options, sending more people looking for help.
The Section 8 waiting list will be open at the Lake Charles Housing Authority at 800 Bilbo Street, Suite A in Lake Charles, from Monday, July 24 through Friday, July 28, between 8 a.m. to noon each day. Applicants must bring a picture I.D.
The process will go like this:
The applications are dated and timed accordingly and client's name is placed on list, but nothing is official until the application is filled out completely. Those applications should be placed in the self-addressed envelope. Clients are required to place a stamp on it and mail it back so the information can be received and placed into the computer system. If eligible, your name will be added to the waiting list.
Doshier reminds applicants that the process is not immediate.
"Each applicant must understand that this process is long and tedious because all applications have to be accounted for, inputted into the computer system then after nearly 30-60 days or so after the list closes; applicants will begin to receive letters to come in for an appointment to determine their eligibility," said Doshier.
The complete process could take anywhere from 3-4 weeks for each applicant.
"The main point way [we] want to convey is 'applicant patience with the process' because nothing will happen overnight and once we reach an applicant’s name; they should be prepared with all their information up-to-date to expedite the process."
That information includes picture, I.D. for all family members 18 years of age and older, Social Security cards and Birth Certificates for all family members along with current proof of income; receiving a preference as a “working person and/or family” if not elderly, handicapped or disabled.
The Section 8 waiting list will be open at 800 Bilbo Street, Suite A in Lake Charles, from Monday, July 24 through Friday, July 28, between 8 a.m. to noon each day. Applicants must bring a picture I.D.
If you have any questions, call the Section 8 office at (337) 436-7628. For eligibility information for Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher, click here.
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