Business & Economy

Wait list for LA housing assistance opens after 13 years

File photo: A
File photo: A "For Rent" sign is seen on a building Hollywood, California, May 11, 2016. A wait list for rental assistance opened for the first time in more than a decade on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

A wait list for federal housing aid opened for the first time in more than a decade Monday morning as officials in Los Angeles prepared for a rush of applications.

The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles last opened the wait list for Section 8 vouchers in 2004. At the time, about 300,000 people applied. Officials expect at least 600,000 to apply this period.

The vouchers help low-income families pay their rent.

Applicants are not automatically placed on the wait list. Only about 20,000 applicants, a fraction of those eligible in the city, will be selected for the wait list.

This year, to help handle the large volume of requests, the city is only accepting applications online. But that doesn’t guarantee the process will go off without a hitch.

As KPCC has reported previously, Santa Ana faced a surge in web traffic that crashed its servers when it opened its own wait list in 2015.

“We broke the internet,” Judson Brown, operations supervisor at the Santa Ana Housing Authority told KPCC at the time.

L.A.’s application period will run through Sunday, Oct. 29 at 5 p.m.