pre-applications for statewide Section 8 Housing Program
Murphy Administration Announces Opening of Wait List for
Statewide Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program
Section 8 HCV Program Is One of Many Initiatives
Administered by DCA to Address Affordable Housing
TRENTON, NJ —The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) today announced that its Division of Housing and Community Resources will be accepting pre-applications for the statewide Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program Waiting List. People can go online at www.WaitlistCheck.com/NJ559 from 9 a.m. on January 17, 2023, to 5 p.m. on February 3, 2023, to submit a preliminary application to be entered into a lottery to get on the waiting list for a Section 8 voucher that can be used statewide for housing.
The Section 8 HCV Program is a federally-funded program administered by DCA that provides housing subsidies to New Jersey residents so they can obtain decent, safe, and sanitary housing. It is one of many programs DCA oversees to increase affordable housing opportunities in New Jersey.
All Section 8 HCV Program pre-applications will be selected through a random lottery process. Applicants who qualify for a preference will receive priority placement on the waiting list. Preferences include United States Armed Forces veterans and their spouses, people experiencing homelessness, domestic violence survivors, local residents, and people with disabilities. A total of 20,000 households will be selected in the random lottery, enabling those households to be added to the waiting list to be awarded vouchers as they become available.
"The Murphy Administration is committed to making housing affordable to New Jerseyans of all walks of life. This commitment includes DCA's effective administration of the federal Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program for New Jersey residents who need housing assistance," said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. "We are always proud to partner with the federal government on Section 8 and other programs focused on providing stable housing, which is so fundamental to people's quality of life."
The Section 8 HCV open enrollment period will coincide with this year's NJ Counts, which is the annual Point-in-Time Count of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in New Jersey. NJ Counts will take place the night of January 24th and on January 25th. During the count, people experiencing homelessness will be encouraged to submit Section 8 HCV pre-applications and provided with assistance in completing the pre-application.
Applicants must be 18 years of age or older to apply or be an emancipated minor. An email address is required to apply. If an applicant does not have one, they can create an email address during the pre-application process.
The Section 8 HCV pre-application is available in 90 languages, which can be found at www.WaitlistCheck.com/NJ559 at the top right of the pre-application. If an applicant is disabled and needs assistance with submitting their pre-application during the open enrollment period, they can contact DCA at (609) 292-4080 and select Option 9 from the menu from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week to request a reasonable accommodation or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants selected in the random lottery to be placed on the Section 8 HCV waiting list will be notified via email, which may take several weeks. Applicants can check their status after February 24, 2023, online at www.WaitlistCheck.com/NJ559. At the time of their selection, they must meet the income limits of the county where they want to live and provide proof of residency.
For more information concerning the Section 8 HCV open enrollment period, people can visit http://www.ni.gov/dca/.
Notably, DCA's Division of Housing and Community Resources was designated a High Performer for its management of the Section 8 program. This is the highest designation possible from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). DCA received the High Performer designation for four years in a row from 2019 to 2022.
The Section 8 HCV Program is an integral part of the Murphy-Oliver Administration's focus on expanding affordable housing in New Jersey.
Section 8, as well as DCA's other rental assistance initiatives such as the State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP), Supportive Housing Connection, and Veterans Administration Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers, keep more than 41,000 households safely housed each year and provide more than $33 million in financial assistance per month to landlords on behalf of New Jersey households.
DCA administers the State's Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the National Housing Trust Fund, the HOME Program, and the Neighborhood Preservation Balanced Housing Program, which are all aimed at financially assisting the development of different types of affordable housing opportunities for New Jersey residents in communities around the state. The State just recently announced the award of more than $19 million in funding to help develop 79 affordable rental and homeownership housing units.
The Office of Eviction Prevention within DCA oversees programs and services to help low-income tenants facing or threatened with eviction. Some of these programs include the:
- Comprehensive Eviction Defense and Diversion (CEDD) Program, which will provide legal services and social services resources for people statewide who are in danger of eviction, and
- Eviction Diversion Initiative, which has dispatched a total of 28 resource navigators to every court vicinage in the state to work with tenants and landlords to prevent evictions. These resource navigators are experienced case workers who assist tenants with understanding the tenant-landlord court process; applying for rental assistance and utility assistance; guiding them on how to access legal services, social services, and housing counseling; and helping with emergencies, including paying for short-term rent arrears and relocation expenses.
The Office of Homelessness Prevention within DCA coordinates efforts among federal, state, and local agencies and private organizations to prevent homelessness. The office also has research and evaluation capabilities to identify successful and innovative policies and initiatives. Through this office, DCA administers the:
- Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program, which is focused on improving the quality of emergency shelters, increasing the number of emergency shelters, re-housing people experiencing homelessness as quickly as possible, and preventing people from becoming homeless, and
- Homeless Diversion Initiative, which is a person-centered homelessness prevention program that employs problem-solving, resources, and case management to quickly resolve housing crises for those at-risk of homelessness and those experiencing homelessness.
Also, through its COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CVERAP), DCA has distributed more than $752 million in federal Emergency Rental Assistance funds for rental arrears and ongoing rent payments to more than 81,400 households in New Jersey who were impacted by the pandemic. Additionally, the Department is providing more than 32,000 households in New Jersey with rental assistance on a monthly basis for up to two years through the Eviction Prevention Program (EPP).
A DCA fact sheet about rental assistance is attached to this press release.