On Wednesday, Sept. 25, the Randolph County Housing Authority will begin accepting applications for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, which provides rental assistance to households with lower incomes.
"The sequester required us to cut staff earlier this year, but we now have funds available for rental assistance and are happy to be able to accept applications once more," said Karen Jacobson, executive director. Anyone can apply between 9 a.m. and noon this Wednesday at the RCHA office and on each Wednesday thereafter. Seniors and disabled people can apply by phone.
"There are several myths about the 'Section 8' or 'HUD' program that may keep people from applying for the help they could really use," said Lisa Shaffer, Section 8 program manager. For instance, one doesn't need to have children to be eligible, many people who are working still have incomes low enough to qualify, and the assistance can be used in any of the five counties served by RCHA."
The Section 8 program pays the difference between a market rent and the rent a household can afford to pay, typically not more than 30 percent of their monthly income. This can make a huge difference to a household or single person living on a fixed income, ensuring there is sufficient money at the end of the month for food and medicine. For working families it can provide a "hand up" to a more stable living situation. Working families are eligible to join the Family Self-Sufficiency program as well, which helps them set and reach employment goals and move off of the program altogether.
Those applying will be entered onto a waiting list, on which the elderly, disabled and veterans will be given preference. For more information, please see www.rchawv.org.