DETCOG rethinks pre-application process to improve Section 8 list lottery

DETCOG rethinks pre-application process to improve Section 8 list lottery

JASPER, TX (KTRE) - Housing authorities in Deep East Texas are rethinking and improving on past methods in which residents can apply for affordable living.

The Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) will begin accepting ore-applications Thursday, Nov. 1 for its Section 8 housing list lottery. The program is open to residents in the 12 county area who are in need of affordable living, whether it be due to involuntary displacement or difficult domestic situations.

Lonnie Hunt, executive director of DETCOG, said the last time the list lottery was used was more than 2 years, and DETCOG received thousands of applicants, some of which waited years for their housing vouchers.

“My understanding is at one time, [the wait list] was open for an entire year, and just allowed too many people to get on the wait list.” said Hunt. “It made it impossible for us to get to them. We’re literally just wrapping up the last people that signed up close to three years ago."

This year, Hunt hoped to simply the process to ensure those who applied and were chosen from the lottery list were helped in a timely manner.

“Our goal is to shorten the period of time from the period of time someone literally signs up on the wait list, to when they get serviced by one of our folks to decide whether they’re eligible, and whether they qualify for the voucher," said Hunt.

According to DETCOG, the date and time the pre-application is submitted during the waiting list lottery opening period does not determine whether a pre-application will be selected for the waiting list; applicants will be selected during a random lottery after the last day of applications, which is Friday, Nov. 30.

DETCOG will accept 1,000 applications during the waiting list lottery opening period, all of which must be submitted online.

“We’re going to a computerized wait list, where the clients will be placed on the list by a random lottery,” Hunt explained. “The wait list is going to apply preference, which have already been established... so the computer will take everybody who signs up, and takes everybody who signs up, and sees who qualifies with what preferences.”

For more information on how to apply, or more on the application process, you please visit the Deep East Texas Regional Housing Authority website.

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