Upcoming Lotteries for Housing Choice Vouchers
As of today, there are three Housing Authorities in our area that have announced they are opening up their lottery pools to interested applicants: Jefferson County Housing Authority, Brighton Housing Authority, and Denver Housing Authority.
Jefferson County Housing Authority - applications online only, August 15th at 8am - August 16th at 11:59pm. This will be a 3 year lottery pool, stated to be active through December 2020.
Brighton Housing Authority - Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 from 8am -5pm. Applications available in-person only, at the Armory Performing Arts Center. There will be a resource fair that morning from 8am -12pm. Applications are not available prior to this date. Staff is available to assist those that may need help completing the application.
Denver Housing Authority - applications online only, September 21st - 22nd, 2017. Interested persons must re-apply annually, previous entries are removed and only those whom applied during this process will be in the upcoming lottery drawings.
Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) facts and info directly from HUD give an outline of how they work nationwide. Housing Choice Vouchers are what many people called "Section 8" housing. These are tenant-based vouchers administered by Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) which, if someone is chosen and approved, cover rental assistance to pay for housing in a specified area according to the Fair Market Rental guidelines from HUD. Applicants that receive HCVs are required to pay 30% of their gross income monthly and must report any income changes in a timely manner (usually within 10 days). These are considered permanent housing subsidies, as they have no end date of assistance provided you follow the specified guidelines.
Many housing authorities also offer public housing, which is also considered a permanent housing rental assistance subsidy, however it is project-based. This means the rental subsidy is tied to a specific unit or dwelling and may not be utilized in the wider community with other landlords. Each PHA manages these public housing lists differently, view their websites for more information. HUD produces a helpful guide to these and other affordable housing units in our state, view it here.
General eligibility and process: Most HCV programs in our area have similar processes. If it states it is a lottery, this means applicants are pulled at random and packets to apply will be sent to your stated address. It is very important to keep your contact information current. PHAs will draw as many numbers as their funding allows, which may differ from year to year. Read the PHA specific guidelines closely as they will inform if there are any preferences, how to change contact info, and the length of time your name will stay in their lottery pool.
Applicants are approved based on specific criteria determined by each PHA, however they all complete criminal background checks on all adults, verify income, and check that you do not owe money to any other PHAs or HUD.
Anyone who is experiencing homelessness, at risk of homelessness, or whose housing situation is unstable should apply to these housing choice voucher lotteries. They are one of the many tools our community utilizes to prevent and end homelessness.