The application to register for Los Angeles's Section 8 waiting list lottery closed over the weekend, right before Halloween.
The deadline was this Sunday at 5 p.m.
For the fortunate people who are selected by lottery, that simply puts them on a waiting list.
It can take anywhere from a few months to five years to go through the vetting process and then find a landlord willing to accept your section 8 voucher.
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Here’s what you need to know to apply for the lottery program.
Applicants must fall into the federal "very low-income” category. For individual tenants, their annual income cannot be more than $41,700. The annual income threshold for a family of four is $59,550.
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Vouchers are only available to U.S. citizens, immigrants with legal authorization or families with “mixed status” with at least one household member that has legal immigration status.
See here more eligibility requirements.
How do I apply?
Applicants should create an account through the online application portal.
The application is free. A valid email address is required to apply for the program.
Applications are only accepted online via smart phone, mobile device or computer with Internet access. No applications will be accepted in person, by mail or by email.
For those who need free Internet access and help setting up an email account, support is available at LA City public libraries and other community organizations. See here for the list of assistance centers.
Applications were accepted 24 hours a day during the two-week period, which closed Oct. 30, 2022 at 5 p.m.
What Are My Chances?
An application does not guarantee a voucher.
And the odds of getting a voucher are slim. When the city opened its Section 8 waiting list in 2017, more than 187,000 people submitted applications. Only 20,000 thousand of them received vouchers.
This year, the number of available vouchers has increased, but given the strain the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation have put on people’s finances, the city expects to receive more than 365,000 new applications.
But city officials encourage all eligible Angelenos to take a chance to get the help they need.
“This lottery doesn’t guarantee that you will receive a voucher or rental assistance, but it can get you one. And there’s a good chance in the future you will,” says LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Those who are lucky enough to be selected for the rent assistance program will have 180 days to secure a housing unit. After the 6-month period, an unused voucher will be returned to the lottery so it can be given to someone else on the waiting list.