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Lottery For Rental Assistance Program Held In Seattle

There’s a lottery being held in Seattle. But, this one isn’t about winning big bucks. It’s about a chance at affordable housing.

The lottery is being run by the Seattle Housing Authority for slots on a wait list for the Section 8 voucher program. The federal housing assistance program provides vouchers to low income people that they take to private sector landlords to help pay for their rent. But, so many people are in need of rental assistance, for more than is available, that housing authorities like Seattle’s use a lottery system to put people on the list.

In January, when the King County Housing Authority held a lottery for Section 8 vouchers, 22,000 people applied for 2500 spots.

Kerry Coughlin, Seattle Housing Authority spokeswoman, says it’s been two years since Seattle’s wait list was opened up.

“Housing in Seattle, as we’re all being made aware, is in an affordability crisis and, hopefully, if we can get some more vouchers out in the community it will help people,” Coughlin said.

Sign up for the wait list begins Monday, March 23, and runs through April 10. Registration must be done on line at The Seattle Housing Authority is warning applicants to avoid fraudulent sites that try and charge users.

Paula is a former host, reporter and producer who retired from KNKX in 2021. She joined the station in 1989 as All Things Considered host and covered the Law and Justice beat for 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.