Thousands of hopefuls enter applications for CHA housing voucher - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Thousands of hopefuls enter applications for CHA housing voucher waiting list

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - People have until 11:59 p.m. Monday to register for the House Choice Voucher Program waiting list, but already the Chattanooga Housing Authority counts more than 5,900 applications of people hoping to be selected.

"I've been paying high rent for the last seven or eight years," said one applicant at the South Chattanooga Library, "And I think I deserve some help, you know helping me out."
    
It's the mother's first time signing up for the voucher program, hoping government funds will help her with rent. 
    
Out of the thousands of applications submitted, CHA will randomly choose 1,000 people.
   
Not for a voucher. But for the waiting list.

CHA has about 250 available vouchers and those will be filled from this new waiting list created on Monday. They hope to start handing out vouchers the second week in February.

"I'm excited," she said, "I hope I get some luck!"
    
One Chattanooga family was accepted into the program a few years ago...a mother and daughter are each using vouchers to help them live on their own.

"And it did take the stress off, also it taught me how to save," said Jacqueline Husband, who first applied for the program in 2001, "Save money for those rainy days because we're all going to have bad times."
    
After her mom, Hazel Husband, suffered a stroke, Hazel lost mobility and needs an apartment close to daughters. She met a landlord at a CHA event who accepted housing vouchers and had property in the vicinity. She moved in right away.

"It makes me feel good," Hazel said, "I don't have to worry about nothing."
   
Hazel is renting her apartment on her own and Jacqueline bought a home through the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership program, and its just a few blocks away.

"You want to give your children the best advantage," Jacqueline said, "To see that no matter where you're at, if you push hard and work hard you can get the same things."
    
People with a housing voucher will pay 30 percent of their adjusted gross income toward rent each mont, and the CHA pays the remaining rent to their landlord.

"Which they pay $259 and I pay $205 out of my money," Hazel said, "And that's great."
    
As long as the landlord accepts housing vouchers, people can live wherever they want in Hamilton County.

"They can live anywhere in Hamilton County. They can choose an apartment complex, they can choose a free standing home, a duplex, and they really have a lot more options with it," said Betsy McCright, CHA Executive Director.
    
Jacqueline says the program didn't give her family any extra money, but it makes paying several bills at once a whole lot easier.

"Because you know, a majority of us are one paycheck away from being homeless," Jacqueline said.

People have until 11:59 p.m. Monday to enter an application and that has to be done online at www.chahousing.org.
    
The names of the 1,000 lucky applicants selected will be posted on that website on February 2nd.     
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