LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today called on Washington to make bold new investments in Section 8, a longstanding but underfunded federal program that helps people with low incomes get into and stay in housing they can afford.
“Everyone deserves to live in a place they can afford. And for tens of thousands of Angelenos, Section 8 can mean the difference between sleeping in safe homes at night and suffering in desperation on the street,” said Mayor Garcetti. “L.A. is making unprecedented investments in housing and services, because the homelessness crisis demands that we put every possible dollar to work. Washington should meet the urgency of this crisis and increase the number of people who can get help through Section 8.”
The Mayor’s call for new and more robust investments in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program comes as Congress continues to debate budget appropriations to fund the Federal government through the 2018 fiscal year. The Section 8 funding proposed in both houses of Congress would meet only a fraction of the need; in fact, the funding bill recently passed by the House of Representatives would result in the elimination of 140,000 vouchers across America, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
Section 8 currently supports more than 56,000 households in the City of Los Angeles, and an estimated 18,600 Angelenos living in Section 8 housing are formerly homeless. Nationally, about five million Americans use Section 8 each year.
The Mayor spoke today at a press conference with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), where it was announced that the Section 8 wait list in L.A. will soon be open again for the first time in more than a decade. Section 8 provides rental assistance to eligible Angelenos by paying a portion of their rent directly to private landlords; but due to federal funding constraints, the waitlist has been closed for 13 years. Only 20,000 of an anticipated 600,000 Los Angeles applicants will be put on the waitlist to receive the subsidy.
Beginning Monday, Oct. 16 at 6 a.m., new applications for Section 8 assistance in Los Angeles can be submitted 24 hours a day, seven days a week — through a smartphone, mobile device or computer with Internet access at HACLA.hcvlist.org. Applications will be accepted through Sunday, October 29 at 5 p.m. Anyone who needs application assistance due to a disability can call (213) 205-5585 or toll-free at (888) 816-6955 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day during the application period.
Mayor Garcetti is leading aggressive efforts to end homelessness, protect renters’ rights, and create more affordable housing in Los Angeles. The Mayor has called on the City Council to pass an affordable housing linkage fee, which would more than double the city’s production of affordable housing every year. The City is also tripling its production of permanent supportive housing for homeless Angelenos with Proposition HHH, and Mayor Garcetti has signed several measures into law to strengthen L.A.’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO).