The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara (HACSB) announced on Monday the opening of the waitlist for its Section 8 Voucher Program. The queue to receive help with rental payments will be open from May 2 to June 1, 2022.
The city Housing Authority closed the waitlist in 2018 when the agency amassed more than 4,000 applicants for the voucher program. Four years later, the reopening of the waitlist offers those in need of affordable housing an opportunity for self-sufficiency with federal assistance.
The program aids very low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities and puts decent, safe housing within reach through private landlords. Recipients of the voucher are free to choose any type of housing that meets the requirements of the program as long as the owner of the housing unit agrees to rent under the program. A housing subsidy is paid directly to the landlord by public housing agencies, and the residents pay the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.
Rob Fredericks, executive director/CEO of the city Housing Authority, said space on the waitlist became available when previous applicants either no longer needed the voucher program or because they moved out of the area. “We need more viable local applicants,” Fredericks said. “There is definitely pent-up demand for the program, which is why there is only a 30-day window to apply.”
The wait on housing assistance lists can take three to four years, Fredericks said. The Housing Authority gives out a survey annually to assess if waitlist applicants are still in need of housing; they often find applicants have moved on, he said.
While the waitlist ranking is based on date and time of application, families, seniors, and disabled individuals are given priority. To apply, visit hacsbwaitlist.org. For more information, contact the Housing Authority by phone at (805) 965-1071 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.