A few years ago, people waited in line -- sometimes in the dark of night -- to get on a waiting list for a housing voucher.

There will not be lines this year because everyone has to apply online or by phone. Still, workers at the housing office say they are very busy with people trying to apply.

You have until June 30 to apply before the Housing Commission draws 5,000 names by a computerized, random lottery.

Those names will be added to the agency's Section 8 waiting list. The random lottery will also determine the order in which the new applications are positioned on the waiting list.

There is no benefit to applying early during the application period because of the random draw.

The Grand Rapids Housing Commission Section 8 program serves Kent County neighbors before families applying from outside the area.

If there are fewer than 5,000 applications from Kent County, then those applying other areas will be included in the lottery.

Beginning on July 10, there will be an option to check your Section 8 application status on the Grand Rapids housing website, there, you'll be able to confirm whether your application was chosen and added to the waiting list.

To apply for Section 8, visit the Housing Commission's Section 8 website or call 616-235-2622 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Online applications will be accepted 24 hours a day.

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