141,000 applied for NJ Section 8 housing. Only 20,000 will get on the waitlist.

(GOTHAMIST) Karen Yi, February 23, 2023

Only 20,000 New Jersey residents of the more than 141,000 who applied will be placed on a waitlist for federally funded Section 8 housing vouchers.

The Department of Community Affairs said individuals selected for the waitlist through a randomized lottery process will be notified on Friday via email. Applicants can also check their status online starting at 10 a.m.

Once an individual is selected for a waitlist, it can take months or years before they receive assistance. But the DCA, which administers the program, said a the first group of people to be issued vouchers would be selected over the next month. In all, the DCA says the waiting list was sized to include the number of people it would be able to serve over the next three years, based on anticipated federal funding .

The DCA, which administers the program, opened applications for the waitlist last month, prioritizing Armed Forces veterans, homeless individuals, domestic violence survivors and those with disabilities.

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program subsidizes rent for low-income individuals or families. Families spend about a third of their paychecks on housing, and the government pays the rest directly to landlords. Income limits vary by county and household size.

DCA spokeswoman Lisa Ryan said most of the applications — 101,000 of the 141,000 — were received during the first week the department opened the applications.

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