What: CHA opens Housing Choice applications
When: 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. March 27.
Where: all applications must be received online.
The link to the application will be posted at www.chahousing.org
The housing authority will open its computer lab at CHA’s main office on 801 Holtzclaw Ave. and assist applicants from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 27.
A 50-year-old homeless mother has traveled from Texas to Tennessee looking for housing for herself and her two disabled adult sons.
The answer to her problems may be at hand. Glenna Pickett landed in Chattanooga from Amarillo, Texas, this week in hopes of finding a four-bedroom house she can afford with her income from Social Security.
Then she learned the Chattanooga Housing Authority, the largest provider of affordable housing in the community, will accept applications to its Housing Choice voucher program this month.
"Protection and peace of mind," Pickett said Thursday when asked what it would mean to have a home.
The Housing Choice voucher program waiting list opens for only one day at 12:01 a.m. March 27. It closes at 11:59 p.m. the same day, according to a Chattanooga Housing Authority news release.
The link to the application will be posted at www.cha housing.org. Paper applications will not be available or accepted, according to the release.
All applications must be online. The housing authority will open its computer lab at the main office at 801 Holtzclaw Ave. and assist applicants from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 27.
Computers also are available at the public library. Or, people may use their smartphones to apply, said Betsy McCright, CHA's executive director.
Each applicant may submit one application. If the CHA receives more than one application, the person will be disqualified.
Being the first or the last applicant has no bearing on which people are selected to receive vouchers.
The housing authority will randomly select 1,000 applicants using a computerized lottery system. People with vouchers have opportunity to pay only a third of their income for rent. If they have no income, they pay no more than $50 a month for rent and the federal government pays the rest.
Applicants must pass criminal background, income and immigration status checks before receiving vouchers.
Pickett has no car. She slept under a table at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen Wednesday night, but she said she's determined to make it to a computer on March 27 to apply for housing.
"I've had a real bad time for a real long time," she said Thursday. "It's been stressful."
Housing officials play a major role in alleviating homelessness and providing shelter for people with low incomes, Chattanooga Community Kitchen executive director Jens Christensen said.
"For the people who are able to obtain vouchers, this can mean everything," he said. "To provide a place to live with a voucher that makes it affordable allows a family opportunity to start over, to be independent, to get off the street."
Contact staff writer Yolanda Putman at email@example.com or 423-757-6431.