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Nearly 1,000 Low-Income Residents in New Jersey Line Up to Get a Home

It's hard to image a string of 800-1,000 people all lined up, some waiting in line since the night before, just to find a home in which to live. But that is exactly what happened recently in Hoboken, New Jersey.

As soon as the Applied Housing Management Co. opened up its waiting list for housing under the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, people came in droves. It meant an opportunity for them to secure housing in one of the privately owned buildings in Weehawken and Hoboken that are participating in the Section 8 program.

Section 8 program

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is the federal government's program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in privately-owned buildings. Landlords participating in the program are able to offer low rent because they receive subsidies from the government. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.

Not enough to go around

But affordable housing for low-income families is dwindling and becoming so scarce that eligible families are often put on a waiting list. Such was the case in Hoboken, New Jersey where people waited in line for hours, even spending the night for a chance to get a voucher. Eligibility is based on income that is below the area median income. An individual, for example, cannot make more than $42,150 a year to qualify, and a family of seven cannot make more than $74,600. The problem is that there just isn't enough housing to go around. Sadly, not everyone who qualifies will find a place to call home.

For more information on the housing situation in New Jersey, visit www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2014/10/hundreds_wait_on_line_for_chance_at_low-income_housing_in_hoboken_and_weehawken.html

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