Waiting List for Rental Assistance Reopens

For the first time since 2003, people who need help paying their rent can get

their names on the waiting list for a rental assistance voucher from the Harris

County Housing Authority. Jim Bell explains.

This federally funded program provides rent vouchers to low to moderate income families, seniors and the disabled. The waiting list was closed in 2003 because so many people were on it, and it’s taken five years to clear the backlog. Voucher program director Melissa Quijano says they’re now accepting applications again.

“We do have the waiting list open from, actually now until September 30th, so any family or anyone who would like to apply can go online and apply.” 

Quijano says they expect thousands of people to apply for the rent vouchers. When the application period closes September 30th, five thousand names will be drawn randomly and placed on the waiting list.  She says it’s unfortunate, but it typically takes a year or more for people to get rental assistance.

“Currently the way the turnaround is going as far as the voucher program is going and people are moving into self sufficiency, we’re looking the turnaround to be pulled off the waiting list could be anywhere from 24 months to 48 months to get assisted.”

Quijano says that’s the best they can do with the money they get from HUD.  She also says people must apply online at the housing authority website.  As for those who don’t have Internet access:

“You know we do have the public libraries and the county libraries, but if there is some type of need where they need assistance, they can contact our office and we can make accommodations.”

Click here for more information found on the Harris County Housing Authority website

Jim Bell, KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.

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