The Orange County Housing Authority will open the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher for homeless only beginning Saturday, August 12, until Thursday, August 17.

Interim Housing Human Rights and Community Development Director Annette Moore said many families have been waiting to receive these vouchers for a long time.

“We have people already who have come that have been in tents and in their cars, and they’re ready to get this process started and so are we,” said Moore.

To be eligible, applicants must fit under the Orange County Housing Authority Administrative Plan definition of homeless: “An individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.”

OCHA is getting the word out to these families in several ways.

“We’re working with Inter-Faith Council and [Community Empowerment Fund], and we’re also working with Department of Social Services and through the libraries, where a lot of people who are homeless go,” said Moore.

Moore says they are expecting between 200 and 300 people to apply but only 65 vouchers will be available. And voucher amounts will vary based on personal circumstances.

“It really depends on the person’s income, how much of the voucher is paid. Sometimes it may pay for the entire rent, or it may pay for a portion of the rent,” said Moore.

According to OCHA, people looking to receive a voucher have an income of 80 percent or less of the area median income.

“The people who need this housing and the housing choice vouchers are a lot of times working people. They are underemployed; they have families; they are good, decent tenants, and they need housing. But because we live in this area where housing is at a premium, they often can’t get it,” said Moore.

Applications must be submitted in person or by mail and will not be accepted electronically.

In-person dropoffs are scheduled for the Whitted Building on Tryon Street in Hillsborough between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 12, and from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, August 14-15. Applications will then be accepted from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, August 16-17, at the Southern Human Services Center on Homestead Road in Chapel Hill.

Applicaitons postmarked by August 17 can be mailed to:

Orange County Department of Housing, Human Rights and Community Development

P.O. Box 8181

300 W Tryon Street

Hillsborough, NC  27278