Section 8 program open to new applicants

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Requirements

Residents must fall within the income guidelines below, based on number of people in the household, to be eligible for a Section 8 voucher.

• 1 person: $20,250

• 2 people: $23,150

• 3 people: $26,050

• 4 people: $28,950

• 5 people: $31,250

• 6 people: $33,600

• 7 people: $35,900

• 8 people: $38,200

Area residents once again can apply for Section 8 housing vouchers. The program's waiting list had been closed since last fall.

Section 8 vouchers pay the majority of a person or family's rent if they qualify for the program.

Eligibility is based on income and number of children.

Lori Rosendahl, director of operations for the Grand Junction Housing Authority, which manages Moffat County's 72 vouchers, said the application process will be open April 1 to 30.

Residents can pick up application forms at Moffat County Social Services, 595 Breeze St., and the Social Services staff will forward the information to GJHA, Rosendahl said.

However, local staff members cannot answer any questions, she added.

Residents who need more information about the application forms or process should call GJHA Housing Specialist Roberta McQuay toll-free at 866-883-9968.

Rosendahl said there are about seven voucher openings in Moffat County.

"We do have some openings, so we will be pulling names pretty quickly," she said, adding GJHA will distribute vouchers based on a preference point system.

Those with disabilities or those with disabled children, the elderly and working families will be placed higher on the list than others, Rosendahl said.

Those already living in Moffat County also will get preference.

"We're going to serve families in Moffat County before we serve anyone else," she said.

Applicants with the same number of preference points will be awarded vouchers based on the date and time of the application submission, with the earliest being served first.

Section 8 vouchers were closed statewide from fall 2008 until Jan. 1 because of budget restraints.

The freeze on local vouchers lasted longer because Moffat County's program was overfilled, Rosendahl said. Not only were there more than the approved number of vouchers out in the county, but officials wanted to give vouchers to approved residents already on the waiting list before they took new applications.

Grand Junction officials were contracted by the state to manage local Section 8 vouchers Nov. 5, 2008.

Rosendahl's agency has the authority to relocate every local voucher to Mesa County if no local organization is willing to take on the program by June 30, 2010.

Vouchers would be moved after local holders left the program either because of ineligibility or death.

However, Rosendahl has said it would be her and her agency's preference to transfer control of Moffat County's vouchers to a local organization.

She plans to meet with the Moffat County Commission at 10 a.m. April 13 to discuss the Moffat County Housing Authority's ability to take over the county's 72 vouchers.

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