Charlotte’s Section 8 waitlist deadline looms Friday

After 10,000 people applied to get on Charlotte’s Section 8 waiting list in the first day, city housing authority officials say they’re reluctant to even try guessing how many applications will be received this week.

The deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, at which point the list may stay closed for years.

Online applications are being taken 24 hours a day at www.charlottewaitlist.org and can be filled out from home or at any Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library branch. However, library officials warn applicants to show up by 4 p.m. Friday or face the possibility of missing the deadline because of lack of time.

This marks only the second time in 14 years that the Charlotte Housing Authority has opened the Housing Choice Voucher waiting list. The last time applications were taken in 2007, more than 10,000 people applied over five days. There were only 4,500 vouchers available at the time.

There are currently 4,958 vouchers. However, 10,000 people applied Monday, the first day applications were taken, leading officials to speculate that the waiting list could stretch as high as 15,000 this time.

On average, 350 to 400 vouchers become available to new clients each year, only after other people leave the system. Homeless families are at the top of the waiting list, followed by veterans and working families who don’t earn enough to cover rent payments.

In-person applications are not being accepted at Charlotte Housing Authority offices. Individuals who are elderly, 62 years or older, or disabled and need assistance completing the application can contact the housing assistance application hotline at 844-798-5486.