The odds of placement for applicants will likely stay long, but Chandler’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program will open its waiting list for one week.
The city is opening the waiting list for the first time since 2005 from March 7-11 to ensure that an adequate pool of applicants is available for the subsidized housing program should openings occur or more funding is obtained.
“We still have a large waiting list,” said Kurt Knutson, Chandler housing and redevelopment manager. “We don’t want to give people a false sense of hope that they will be immediately housed, but we want to have to solicit again when more openings occur. We want to have those people available.”
Chandler’s voucher program — which assists low-income families, the elderly and disabled through funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) — currently serves 480 families. About 200 are on the waiting list, Knutson said.
The vouchers pay the gap between what a needy person or family can afford — typically, about 30 percent of adjusted income — and market rent value. The Section 8 vouchers are popular because they allow for a variety of housing types and are portable in case of relocation.
There were about 3,000 applicants on the waiting list before the 2005 closing, Knutson said. The list was pared to its current level through voluntary removals and applicants no longer meeting income criteria.
Maximum income levels range from $23,350 for one person, $26,650 for two people, $33,300 for a family of four and $49,300 for a family of 10.
“Because of the economy, there has not been a lot of turnover with the vouchers,” Knutson said. “We have been at our capacity for some time.”
Typically, about 60-80 voucher recipients a year go off the program, Knutson said. But fewer than 20 recipients have done so during the last 18 months.