In the first hour alone, nearly 10,000 people applied for Baltimore City’s Section 8 Housing Voucher list. By the end of the 9 day application period there was nearly 74,000 applicants. As reported in The Baltimore Sun:
The Housing Authority of Baltimore City will use a lottery to randomly select 25,000 applicants for the list. Only 6,000 to 9,000 are expected to receive a voucher.
A nine-day, online only sign up period for the wait list lottery closed at midnight Thursday. It was the first time in a decade residents could sign up for the vouchers, which cover the portion of rent that exceeds 30 percent of a household’s income.
As previously reported in The Baltimore Sun, in the first few days more than 58,000 people had singed up for the wait list, which is not expected to open again till 2020– another six years. The article notes that Baltimore City is not alone. Cities such as Pittsburgh also have extensive waiting lists for affordable housing.
Demand for housing vouchers has far exceeded the number of available slots in other cities as well. For example, when Pittsburgh reopened its wait list this spring, 13,770 applications were submitted for 5,000 spaces on the register.
According to a study published earlier this year the Urban Institute, Baltimore had 43 affordable housing units available per 100 extremely low-income households in 2012, down from 58 units in 2000.
Scott said the housing authority is constrained by the number of vouchers provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is subject to funding limits set by Congress. The city has about 15,000 vouchers, and roughly 100 became available each month through attrition.
For more information read the full articles in The Baltimore Sun: