|Coming April 5, 2015: The Ferguson War Journal|
For the first time in five years, the St. Louis County Housing Authority is accepting new applications for Section 8 housing vouchers.
Through the program, which is funded by the federal government but run by local housing authorities, low-income tenants spend no more than 30 percent of their income on rent, and the authority covers the remainder of what’s owed to a landlord.
Nearly 6,000 households use vouchers received from the county housing authority.
The county added 6,000 people to the wait list when it was last opened in 2010.
The list has dwindled to about 500, according to director Susan Rollins.
When it was last opened, about 30,000 people applied during the six weeks that applications were accepted. On the Saturday morning in 2010 when the authority began taking applications, a few thousand people were already waiting outside of its offices on Natural Bridge Road before the doors opened.
To prevent a repeat of that scene, the county is now using an online registration system. Instead of a first-come, first-served process, applicants are randomly selected through a lottery system that will narrow the pool to a final 6,000-household wait list.
“We’re going to try online this time,” Rollins said. “We find that most of our clients do have smartphones and can access the Internet.”
That doesn’t mean the authority will turn applicants away at the door, she said.
The city of St. Louis also experienced challenges in 2007 when would-be applicants rushed the authority’s doors on the first day applications were accepted.
The city reopened its waiting list last summer — for the first time in seven years — and used online applications. During the one week the city waiting list was open, more than 27,000 people signed up.Never forget: the story of Ferguson, Missouri is nothing more than the logical conclusion of Section 8 Vouchers: the ruination of social capital and the advancement of the same conditions terminating civilization from which those awarded vouchers escaped from.
The Africanization of America, via state decree.
There would be no Darren Wilson-Michael Brown confrontation without Section 8 Vouchers.
Stores in Ferguson wouldn't be closing were Section 8 Vouchers not importing the very people responsible for the creation of conditions where poverty flourishes in downtown St. Louis.
Property value for those owning homes in Ferguson wouldn't be declining were it not for Section 8 Vouchers importing Africans in America to the once serene and all-white suburb of St. Louis.
But those in search of Section 8 Vouchers in St. Louis (to magically be transported not to the land of Oz, but the world of white people!) to momentarily enjoy a reprieve from the type of community Africans in America create have no problem engaging in violence to get a better spot in line.
And though the Internet is largely scrubbed of all references to the fabled date of December 7, 2007, something undeniably courtesy of black people happened on this day when Section 8 Voucher seeking blacks stormed the halls of the St. Louis Housing Authority. [St. Louis Section 8 voucher waiting list to open for first time since 2007, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7-3-14]:
Dec. 7, 2007, won’t be forgotten anytime soon in the halls of the St. Louis Housing Authority, at 3520 Page Boulevard.
It was Application Day. The demand to get a place on the waiting list for Section 8 vouchers was so great, people rushed the front door. Police stepped in to disperse the crowd.
“We had to close the thing down because there were too many people,” said Cheryl Lovell, executive director of the housing authority.
“Lots of people want the assistance,” she added. “A lot of people need it.”
Over 8,000 names eventually landed on the waiting list that week in 2007. Now, seven years later, the application pool has nearly dried up.
The housing authority announced Thursday that a one-week window to pre-register for the income-based rental assistance program will open again July 14.
The agency has been planning for the event for months in hopes to avoid some of the previous struggles. The main difference will be an online option. Applications can be submitted 24 hours a day at slha.org.
“We don’t want to have people wait in line at our building to apply,” Lovell said. “We want them to do it at their convenience.”
The housing authority expects more applicants this time around, perhaps 10,000. No new vouchers were issued from the middle of 2012 through 2013 because of funding cuts.
Section 8 is one of many government subsidized housing programs for low-income people and those with disabilities. Recipients pay 30 percent of their income in rent; the government pays the remainder directly to the landlord. Renters find their own housing from a list of properties in the community that meet the standards of the program.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds the program; local housing authorities manage it on the ground.
Lovell said Congress ultimately decides the speed of getting through the waiting list.
“It takes us seven years to fund it,” she said. “It’s not that we sit on these applications. We have to have slots. You have to have funding available.”
The Housing Authority of St. Louis County uses a lottery system for its Section 8 waiting list.
Susan Rollins, director of the agency, said she wants to avoid the stampede situation that erupted in Atlanta in recent years and left people injured.
“Because there are so many people in need, we have gone to a lottery system,” she said. “We think it’s a fair way to get it done.”
In April 2010, the county opened its waiting list for two weeks. About 30,000 people signed up. Of those, 6,000 won a randomly selected spot on the waiting list.