Georgia will take new applications for housing subsidy vouchers in 149 counties


ATLANTA (AP) — Georgians in 149 counties can soon apply for housing subsidies for the first time since 2021.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs announced last week that it would take online applications for its Housing Choice Voucher program beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 17 and continuing through 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 20.

The program, formerly known as Section 8, provides money to low-income families to rent an apartment or house. To be eligible, a family’s income must be 50% or less of the median income in the area where the family chooses to live. A voucher pays an amount based on what rent costs in an area, family size and family income.

Once a family gets a voucher, funding will continue as long as the family complies with program rules.

After the state approves applicants as eligible, it will use a lottery to randomly rank the order in which applicants will receive assistance.

Spokesperson Kristen Moses said the state is seeking to enroll 5,000 applicants. The current waiting list has fallen to 728 individuals. Moses said the Department of Community Affairs anticipates placing those people in coming months.

The agency placed 633 applicants in the 2021-2022 budget year. The list had been closed since 2021 because of the high number of people already waiting.

Moses said people without internet access can call the agency at 1-855-924-8446 to seek help, or get help at a local public library.

The state-run program does not cover Bibb, Chatham, Clayton, Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton, Glynn, Muscogee, Richmond and Sumter counties. Those counties have locally run voucher programs.