Section 8 housing application process begins - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Section 8 housing application process begins

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

This morning the Lake Charles Housing Authority opened its waiting list for the first time since 2014.

Before the application process closed around noon today, hundreds of residents lined up around the building. Some even lining up as early as 9:45 p.m. yesterday.

“We had given out 700 applications by 8:30, we ended up over 1,000,” said Ben Taylor, director of the Lake Charles Housing Authority.

He says this will bump up the waiting list for Section 8 housing tremendously after they had finally gotten the numbers down from 2,000 people. That 2,000 came from the last application process in March 2014.

Taylor says this number will be cut down by around 40 percent once the criminal and rental history screening begins.

We’ve got the money, we've got the applicants, we just lack affordable housing,” said Taylor.

A problem many in line could attest to today.

“It's a struggle every day,” said one applicant, Lakeisha Johnson. “I mean, you work just to pay rent and when you pay rent, you can't take care of your kids.”

Lashawnda Banks waited for three hours and she said it's become increasingly difficult to find a good home for a good price.

“Everybody is staying with somebody at the moment or they're trying to get back in there and it's kind of hard to get back on your feet,” said Banks. “The price they're asking for, that's why there's so many people in this line. They feel it's necessary to get a break from these prices. Just like the gas is going up, the rent is going up.”

Dionne Austin feels the same way. She said it's hard to find properties for rent that are quality for a family to live in. She raises another issue of the number of single mothers you see in the line.

“We’re working rent and is high,” said Austin “Certain areas where it’s affordable, it’s run-down and not kept up by the owners and so we’re working, we have childcare to pay, we have car notes and have to maintain our car to get back and forth to work.”

You do need proof of employment to apply for Section 8.

The Section 8 waiting list will be open at the Lake Charles Housing Authority through Friday, July 28, between 8 a.m. to noon each day. Applicants must bring a picture I.D.

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