Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Housing assistance deadline approaches

October 31, 2000

The federal government is looking to make your rent payments a little easier to swallow, but the deadline is coming up for those who wish to apply.

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Rental Assistance Program will be giving out applications for those who qualify for rental assistance in Ingham County. The applications are only available on Wednesday.

The program will assist people in paying their monthly utilities and rent, said Brandy Westcot, executive secretary of the housing program.

“We take a family’s total income and generally state that they won’t pay more than 30 percent of their monthly income on utilities and rent,” Westcot said. “If a family makes $1,000 per month, then we would expect them to pay $300 in rent and utilities.

“We pay the rest.”

The vouchers are given to each state by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Westcot said.

Applications will be randomly selected using a lottery drawing to determine where on the waiting list each qualified applicant will be placed.

“People will be admitted to the program as new allocations are made by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development or when people progress off the program or move away,” Westcot said. “There’s no way to know how long it will take.”

Qualified candidates for the program must have a household income that is less than $18,000 for a family of one; $24,000 for a family of three and $28,950 for a family of five.

Applications and information are available by phone at 373-9344 or at several East Lansing and Lansing locations including the Michigan Center for Independent Living, 780 W. Lake Lansing Road in Lansing; The Salvation Army, 525 N. Pennsylvania Ave. in Lansing; and the American Red Cross, 1800 E. Grand River Ave.

Katharine Gurin, a no-preference sophomore, said she is looking for off-campus housing for next year and the program sounds very inviting.

“I think it would definitely benefit college students,” Gurin said. “I have been looking for apartments further and further away from campus mainly because they’re so much cheaper.”

The program is administered through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and only one application can be submitted per household.

Applications must be received in the Lansing Section 8 office by Nov. 15.

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