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Housing Authority officials overloaded with applications

– The Fort Wayne Housing Authority was so overwhelmed by applications for its Housing Choice Voucher Program that it will take officials until July to process them all.

FWHA officials recently opened the Housing Choice Voucher Program waiting list after four years, and more than 8,000 people applied in just three days. The Housing Choice Voucher Program, formerly known as Section 8, allows low-income participants to rent an apartment anywhere the landlord accepts vouchers. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income toward the rent and the federal government pays the rest.

But so many people applied for vouchers, FWHA officials said, application processing will not be completed before July 1.

Applicants can help FWHA by not requesting waiting list position status before the process is completed, officials said. Once processing is complete, applicants who applied by mail or walk-in will be notified by mail confirming they have been added to the new waiting list. Online applicants will receive an email confirmation they are on the list.

Emails must be printed out for their records. Applicants who dropped their application at FWHA offices received a stamped receipt showing they applied for the HCVP waiting list. All applicants are encouraged to safeguard their receipts, which confirm they applied.

Also, since family contact information is likely to change before their name comes up on the waiting list and because FWHA policy instructs staff to move to the next eligible applicant if there is no response when contacting applicants, it is essential that all applicants update contact information promptly to avoid losing their position on the waiting list.

Depending on funding availability and waiting list turnover, FWHA expects to serve 200 to 300 new families in the program a year. For this reason, priority is given to the applicants with the greatest need based on the total number of documented preference points on each application.