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Seattle Housing Authority Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) waitlist registration now open

Agency accepting registrations for a housing assistance "lottery" through Feb. 22

SEATTLE — February 4, 2013 — For the first time since 2008, Seattle Housing Authority is accepting registrations for a new Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) waitlist. Registration is only available online, and eligible households can register any time between 7 a.m. on February 4th and 5 p.m. on February 22nd, Pacific Standard Time. Households that register to participate will be entering a "lottery" for a chance to be placed on this new waitlist. Of the households who register during this three-week registration period, 2,000 households will be selected at random to be placed on the waitlist.

"We know that there is simply not enough housing for low income people in Seattle," said Andrew Lofton, Executive Director of Seattle Housing Authority. "We are excited to offer this opportunity to give those in greatest need a chance for safe, decent and affordable housing."

The Housing Choice Voucher program, commonly known as Section 8, issues vouchers that pay a portion of the monthly rent for homes in the private rental market. Eligible households can use a voucher (also known as a housing subsidy) to rent a unit from any landlord in Seattle eligible to participate in the program. Households in this program are homeless or earn 30 percent of area median income or less to qualify. In Seattle, 30 percent of area median income for a family of four is $26,000 per year. Households pay the portion of rent and utilities not covered by the voucher — typically 30 to 40 percent of the household's monthly income.

Any person who will be 18 years old or older when they receive the housing assistance (or an emancipated minor) may register for the lottery no matter where he or she lives. Current residents of Seattle Housing's Low-Income Public Housing units are welcome to register. All of the program eligibility requirements, including income levels, can be found at http://seattlehousing.org/waitlist.

The agency uses a lottery system to ensure that everyone has an equal chance of placement on the waitlist. Once the waitlist is created, the first households on the list could begin receiving vouchers as early as this spring.

Households interested in registering for the lottery are encouraged to visit http://seattlehousing.org/waitlist to familiarize themselves with the program and the lottery process. The link to register for the lottery is available on that page. A Waitlist Hotline is also available by calling 206-239-1674. During the three-week registration period, that number will be staffed to take questions or to help households register.