The first round of 2012 Section 8 housing applications was handed out Wednesday. Bloomington residents were told to arrive no earlier than 8:45 a.m. to receive applications, but nearly 600 lined up outside the Bloomington Convention Center as early as early as 6 a.m. The Bloomington Housing Authority was handing out applications on a first-come, first-served basis.
“It would help me with the housing because I’m staying with my mother-in-law right now,” says Bloomington resident Sarah Fish, who was one of 300 to receive an application. “That’s not a problem but I’d just like to have my own spot, you know.”
The Bloomington Housing Authority says it hopes to improve its process for Section 8 housing in the coming year by accepting applications more frequently. Normally, it only hands out applications in December. For 2012, it plans to distribute a second round of applications in May.
Bloomington Housing Authority Supervisor Janet Tyree says the organization handed out about 200 fewer applications Wednesday than it did last year. She says by splitting the application distribution to twice a year, more residents are able to take advantage of the program.
“If we create more hope in the community by doing a lesser number and more frequently we think we will create more hope and people will be able to be housed sooner,” Tyree says.
Tyree says the longer people are on the list, the more likely they are to not need housing or no longer be eligible for Section 8 by the time they are contacted. If the the organization can contact applicants earlier, Tyree says it could save both time and money.
The Bloomington Housing Authority says it should be able to serve at least 25 of the applicants within the first month of 2012.