For the first time in six years, Fort Worth Housing Solutions is opening the waitlist to get housing vouchers, but the time to apply is limited.
The vouchers help for housing of low-income families.
Starting at 8 a.m., Monday, Nov. 13, through 11:59 p.m. , Friday, Nov. 17, eligible families will have an opportunity to apply online for a spot on the wait list for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.
In the first eight hours, more than 3,600 people applied.
“People get on the wait list and they wait years for their names to come to the top of the wait list. People feel like they won the lottery when their name comes to the top," said Selarstean Mitchell, with Fort Worth Housing Solutions.
Only 5,000 will be chosen in a lottery to be added to the wait list; 40 to 50 people leave the program each month, making way for more families.
“It may be years for people who end up getting on the list to actually get a voucher,” Mitchell said. “We do not have extra vouchers at this time. We do not have extra funding.”
HUD provides Fort Worth Housing Solutions with 5,100 vouchers.
When the program started in 2011, they opened the list to 18,000 people but officials said that number became problematic when people moved away or people were homeless and there was no way to get in touch with them.
"We decided to try something different, limit the number of people and maybe the wait list would be a good wait list for two or three years. We won't have to go through hundreds of names to get one or two people," Mitchell said.
Fort Worth Housing Solutions explains that all applicants must meet the income requirements for the program when they are activated from the wait list. Candidates must be either “extremely low income” or “very low income.”
Currently, the very low income limit is $25,000 for an individual and $35,700 for a family of four.
To apply visit fortworth.apply4housing.com