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Community

January 16, 2012
 

OCHA to open waiting list for housing assistance

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The Orange County Housing Authority (OCHA) will open its waiting list to accept pre-applications for housing assistance from February 15 until February 29. The Section 8 Waiting List is the only opportunity for very low-income families, seniors, disabled persons, and individuals to obtain a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher.

Due to the limited number of vouchers and the large number of people that applied, the last time OCHA’s waiting list was opened was November 2005. The February 2012 waiting list opening may be the only opportunity for Orange County residents to apply for many years to come.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and enables OCHA to subsidize monthly rent payments for qualified applicants who live or work in 31 cities in Orange County. The Cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, and Santa Ana operate their own housing authorities and have separate waiting lists for their residents.

“The opening of the waiting list for housing assistance is a tremendous opportunity for our very low-income families, individuals, seniors, and disabled persons who live in Orange County,” stated Karen Roper, Director, OC Community Services. “A Housing Choice Voucher often provides the only means for these Orange County residents to have a safe and affordable place to live and I encourage every eligible person to submit an application.”

Section 8 Voucher assistance allows a very low-income family, senior, disabled person, or individual to pay approximately 30% of their monthly income towards rent. The remaining rental amount is paid by OCHA directly to the property owner or manager.

Applicants must earn below 50% of the County’s median income. For a family of four, that amount is $48,150 while the amount for an individual is $33,750.

OCHA serves most Orange County cities and all unincorporated areas, with the exception of the Cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, and Santa Ana.

Beginning February 15, applications for the waiting list will be available online at www.ochousing.org or at participating cities and branches of the Orange County Public Library.

Applications will also be available at select community organizations. Numerous community partners will have computers available to apply online and applicants are strongly encouraged to use this method which will provide an immediate confirmation.

Applications can be submitted in three ways:

  • online at www.ochousing.org, beginning 12:01 a.m. Feb. 15 through 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 29; or
  • faxed to 714-667-6544, beginning 12:01 a.m. Feb. 15 through 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 29; or
  • mailed to P.O. Box 22005, Santa Ana, CA 92702 and postmarked from Feb. 15 through Feb. 29.

No applications will be accepted at cities, libraries, or the OCHA office.

Only one application per household will be accepted. Submitted applications are not considered first come, first served. Accepted applications will be grouped by preference categories (veteran, senior, disabled, working family or individual residing within OCHA’s jurisdiction). Applicants will be randomly placed within their qualifying preference group.

Interested persons are encouraged to log onto www.ochousing.org or call OCHA’s waiting list information line at 714-480-2740 for updated information (including locations of community partners with computer access).

Instructions and applications will be available online beginning February 15. Applicants will be able to apply directly online or the application forms can be printed and submitted by mail or fax.

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