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The Skanner News
Published: 18 October 2012

This just in from the Housing Authority of Portland, now known as Home Forward:

Low-income individuals and families who need help paying their rent will be able to apply for the Section 8 rent assistance waiting list this November.  Home Forward, the agency that administers the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program in Multnomah County, is accepting online applications from Nov. 1 through Nov. 10, 2012.

The list last opened in 2006 when the agency received nearly 10,000 applications in two weeks.

The program helps eligible low-income renters afford homes and apartments at normal market rents.  Home Forward's program currently assists about 8,700 households throughout Multnomah County.

"We're very pleased to be able to open our Section 8 waiting list," said Steve Rudman, Home Forward's executive director, "A voucher makes a tremendous difference in the lives of individuals and families who have limited incomes.  We expect demand to be especially high this year, given the state of the economy and rising rents in the Portland metro area."

The agency is accepting applications online for the first time.  Applications are not prioritized by date, so people can apply at any point during the 10-day opening.  Three thousand (3,000) households will be randomly selected from all of the applications and placed on the Section 8 waiting list.  Once a household is on the list, priority selection is provided for seniors, persons with disabilities, and people who are working or engaged in education or training programs.

Applicants must earn less than 50 percent of the area median income for their household size -- $25,550 for a single individual and $36,500 for a family of four -- to qualify for the program.  Applicants can visit Home Forward's website for more information, including eligibility requirements, application guidelines, and locations where they can use internet-connected computers.  The application will be available online beginning on Nov. 1 through Nov. 10, 2012.  

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