BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Housing Authority of the County of Kern announced that they will open the Housing Choice Voucher Program Waiting List on Jan. 28, 2022.
The program is made to provide rental-assistance vouchers to low-income families.
The importance of the program is that it helps low-income households spend less of their paychecks on their rent and more on food and the essentials.
“The Housing Voucher Program is a fixed number of vouchers. It’s not based on the community need or local demand. We have a certain number of vouchers that the program assists with. It’s about 3,700 vouchers in total. The only way we can issue a new voucher is when a voucher turns over, when someone comes off the program.”
The HA expects more than 20,000 people to apply in 2022 once applications open to anyone eligible from Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. PST through Feb. 28 at 5 p.m.
“HCV recipients are randomly selected each month from Waiting List applicants,” said HA Housing Administrator Mardi Sharples. “Due to the high demand for the HCV program and extremely limited supply of vouchers, most recipients will experience a long wait for assistance through the HCV program.”
Kimmel said that they haven’t been able to open the waiting list since 2012 although the program has been ongoing. They’re planning on opening the list every year instead of waiting for people to get off the list.
“If you missed your opportunity this year, or you didn’t have the need this year, you can apply next year or the following year.”
Kimmel wanted to emphasis that the program is a lottery system, so anyone can apply any time between the allotted time frame.
“We anticipate that we’ll be able to serve 400 people this year, or rather, 400 households.”
Interested renters can learn more about the program’s eligibility and application requirements by visiting their website.