Beginning today and lasting until Friday, June 17 5pm, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) will be accepting pre-applications for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (previously known as Section 8 rental assistance). Application can only be made online at https://www.waitlistcheck.com/NJ559.
A number of questions have been raised with respect to the application and screening process. Here are a few questions with answers supplied by DCA’s Division of Housing and Community Resources.
1. If the household income listed on the HCV pre-application is over the income limit will the application be rejected immediately?
If the income listed on the pre-application is over the income limit, the applicant will be notified that the pre-application cannot be accepted. The applicant will have the opportunity to correct their entry on the pre-application if they made an error.
2. Somewhere I read, “only one pre-application per household per county will be accepted”. Does this mean a person may apply in more than one county?
Yes, a household may submit pre-applications for multiple counties.
3. How is county of residence a screening factor, based on self-disclosure?
At the pre-application stage, the applicant is asked to list county of residence. Should the pre-application be selected for the waiting list, when the applicant is selected from the waiting list, they will be required to verify all information submitted. Misrepresentation of information is grounds for denial of entrance into the program
4. Would a person considered homeless be able to choose which county to apply in?
A homeless person may submit applications for all counties, as any other applicant may do. In terms of the county of residence, a homeless person may submit as their county of residence the county in which they stayed on the night before the submission of the pre-application.
5. Can you explain sorting preferences?
As described in DCA’s Administrative Plan, preference points will be awarded to the people who are disabled, victims of domestic violence and to those residing in the county in which they submitted a pre-application. Should a pre-application be selected for the waiting list, the applicant will be required to verify all information submitted. Misrepresentation of information is grounds for denial of entrance into the program.
6. A person accepted should continue to furnish updated information, especially if there is a move on their part. Should they report changes/update information to a local DHCR field office?
All applicants are responsible for keeping their contact information current with DCA, so that DCA may contact them when their application is selected from the waiting list. Applicants may update their information through the waitlistcheck website, or through DCA’s customer service unit, which may be reached at 609-292-4080 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Housing Choice Voucher Program’s Administrative Plan FY2017 is also available online.
Keep in mind the waiting list website may be slow due to the number of people trying to access the site. DCA issued the following announcement this morning, “Please note that the waiting list is lottery based and the date and time that you apply will not affect your chances of being selected, as long as your application is submitted before Friday, June 17th at 5 PM. Any pre-application submitted by 5 PM on Friday, June 17th has an equal chance of being selected for the waiting list.”
DCA added, “You will receive confirmation once your application has been received. If you do not receive confirmation within 90 minutes of your application submission, it’s possible that your application was not received and you should apply again.”