The Grand Rapids Housing Commission is ready to take requests for Section 8 Housing next month, without some of the drama and frustration of recent application cycles.
Carlos Sanchez, the Executive Director of the commission told WOOD Radio they're taking this process online, except for those who don't have computers or smart phones. "Call (616) 288-1150 and we'll have a bank of employees who will take their applications over the phone." As of 12 a.m. May 12th to 11:59 p.m. the 16th, there will be applications in English and Spanish language online.
Sanchez said the scuffles and long lines seen in Wyoming recently were only part of the reason they've updated the system. "We knew that we were going to get some six to eight thousand applications so we decided to do it through the internet."
The process will use a random lottery to add about 4,000 names to the list. Sanchez said in time, that may produce Section 8 vouchers for those who meet income qualifications. "(The list) has been closed for about four years. We give out about 3,200 vouchers a year, we turn over 30 to 40 of those units a month. We currently have about a hundred available to take people off the list." Sanchez points out they are currently serving families who requested vouchers in November of 2010.
Finally, those who can't apply online or by phone are asked to approach human service agencies to get help with the process.