TROY, N.Y.-- The Troy Housing Authority began accepting Section 8 applications on Monday at 9 am, but people started waiting on line three hours earlier.
The line started growing at the crack of dawn, as nearly 200 people waited for just the chance to get help with rent before the doors even opened. The last time they opened the list for help with rent was November of 2008 and they got 700 applications. However, with the current state of the economy, the number of families in need is expected to grow.
"People are having a very difficult time, out of work, low paying jobs, not really much for people," said Lorna Moffre, a Tenant Relations Supervisor
Those economic difficulties are in full evidence by the overwhelming number of people waiting for their chance to apply for section 8 housing. Through this program, eligible families rent from private landlords and get help subsidizing their rent. Renters pay 30% of their adjusted family income towards the apartment and the THA helps with the rest.
With this program families are not limited to public housing.
"It's going to help me out with my family," said Geraldine Montgomery.
"I have two children and this would help me and my family a great deal to have the assistance with the rent," said Tasheeka Williams.
This application is just the first step to get help and it's not a guarantee. Some families are still waiting since the last time the list was opened.
"That list we're getting towards the bottom, there's only 30 or 40 families on that list when we opened the list in 2008 we took in about 700 applications," said Moffre.
About 400 people had applied by the end of Monday and applications will continue to be accepted until the end of June. Proof of current address is needed to start the process.