Housing-assistance program open for enrollment in January

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While the city is widely known for the health of its economy, Chandler, like a number of its neighbors, offers housing alternatives for individuals and families, who may need to secure affordable lodging in today’s challenging economy.

Because Chandler is one of the Valley cities where housing prices have increased in recent years, families who live within the city can run into financial roadblocks to finding housing within their budget.

One of the most commonly recognized, affordable-housing programs is public housing; but, another federal program called the Housing Choice Voucher, or Section 8, continues to generate interest among residents.

The Section 8 program—unlike public housing which limits applicants to a choice of pre-determined residential properties—can help families pay for rental homes in any neighborhood, in any community, provided the applying households meet specified income limits.

In Chandler, where 486 families now receive Section 8 assistance with their housing expenses, a waiting list will be re-opened in January for applicants to vie for a spot on that program’s waiting list. It’s the first time in five years that this list has opened.

The weeklong signup period is being developed, according to city officials, to help ensure an adequate pool of Section 8 applicants is available when openings occur or additional funding is obtained.

The application process is the first step to qualify for the Section 8 program, preceding acceptance, which may take weeks, months or even years.

Contrary to some public perceptions, the majority of Section 8 vouchers are used by a high percentage of recipients who cannot work because of a disability or advanced age.

The funding for Section 8 program is provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which sponsors subsidized housing for very-low-income families, the elderly and disabled whose incomes do not exceed prescribed levels.

Eligibility for this program requires a total household income of no more than:

Household of 1, $22,400; Household of 2, $25,600; Household of 3, $28,800; Household of 4, $32,000; Household of 5, $34,600; Household of 6, $37,150; Household of 7, $39,700; Household of 8, $42,250; Household of 9, $44,800; Household of 10, $47,400.

The city of Chandler Housing and Redevelopment Division, in the provision of services or in any manner, notes that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, family status or disability.

Applications will be available from Monday, Jan. 11, to Friday, Jan. 15, in the following ways: • Online by visiting affordablehousing.chandleraz.gov; and • In person between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Division Office, 235 S. Arizona Ave. Mail requests for applications should be made to City of Chandler, Mail Stop 101, P.O. Box 4008, Chandler, AZ 85244-4008. Requests to receive an application by mail also can be made by calling 480-782-3200.

Completed applications should be submitted to the Arizona Avenue address above and be mailed with a postmark no later than Friday, Jan. 15 and received by Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Applications also may be submitted in person at Chandler’s Housing and Redevelopment Division, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the same weeklong program.

Downloaded applications from the city’s website cannot be submitted online. Completed applications may be submitted only in person or by mail.

Reasonable accommodations will be made for applicants with disabilities by calling 480-782-3200.

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