On March 1st at 9 a.m., the Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo is opening up the application for housing choice vouchers. The organization will use a lottery system to select one hundred and fifty applicants. The application will close on March 3rd at 4 p.m.
Elaine Archer, the Director of Housing at HASLO, explained, “Housing Choice voucher is a subsidy that allows you to look for any housing that meets your needs and a landlord that's willing to accept that voucher.”
HASLO will verify the income of a renter to make sure they are eligible, and then the renter pays 30% of their income in rent to the unit.
The Housing Authority will pay the rest directly the landlord on a monthly basis.
“If the landlord accepts you with your voucher, you then fill out some more paperwork, and you come back to the housing authority, and we schedule an inspection. [To] make sure that the unit is safe, decent and habitable in accordance with California and federal law,” said Archer.
HASLO said they expect between two and three thousand applicants this round. In the past, they got about fifteen hundred, but they say the need is higher and that housing is scarce.
An individual is eligible for continued voucher assistance for as long as 30% of their income is less than the rent that they are paying.
“We expect that all 150 names will come off the waiting list if you are not selected in this waiting list. We hope that you'll be selected next year when we open again. But that's why we try to open once a year, so that there's always hope that if I don't get selected this time, I can be selected next time,” said Archer.
Sometimes people forfeit their voucher or moves, so HASLO can only give vouchers to new applicants when they get vouchers returned.
People can find housing through an agency, Craigslist, or word of mouth, as long as the renter meets the eligibility requirements.
People can access the application on HASLO's website or call 805-543-4478.