Waiting List for Subsidized Housing Opens in Oakland

January 27, 2011 / Russell Legato, Residential Property Analyst

Officials in Oakland, the eighth-largest city in California expect 100,000 applications for the city’s subsidized housing. But, there are only 10,000 spots for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 subsidized housing’s waiting list, which are allocated  for low income individuals and families in the city.

Waiting List for Subsidized Housing Opens in Oakland

The housing authority in Oakland opens its Section 8 waiting list on Tuesday. Some 6,000 applicants jammed and submitted their applications for the subsidized housing during the first three hours.

About 100,000 applications are still expected within the five-day application time.

Across the city, the Oakland’s city library turned its computer lab into Section 8’s application area as applicants fill out forms and hoping to get selected for the subsidized housing list.

Oakland’s housing authority will be using the lottery to determine who’s going to get into the subsidized housing’s waiting list. It has taken about 5 years to clear the waiting list, which started in 2006.

Currently, there are only 650 available vouchers, according to the housing authority’s executive director, Eric Johnson. Only about 50 vouchers are typically release per month.

Section 8’s voucher remains with the holders even if they choose to moves out or stays in the city.

People with disabilities, veterans and senior citizens are prioritized first in the waiting list.

The city of Oakland uses the voucher more than other cities in the Bay Area. Figures from HUD showed that San Francisco has third fewer vouchers than other cities despite its size.

Most housing authorities across the country believe the recent economy has strengthened the demand for subsidized housing.

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