Mayor Eric Garcetti and housing officials Tuesday announced the opening of the wait list lottery for Section 8 housing vouchers in Los Angeles for the first time in five years.

Online registration for the lottery will begin at 6 a.m. Oct. 17 and end at 5 p.m. Oct. 30. Very low-income individuals and families are eligible for the Section 8 program, which pays a portion of rent directly to landlords.

“Today, the city of Los Angeles takes yet another big step forward in addressing our homelessness and affordable housing crisis,” Garcetti said. “Housing solves homelessness, that is our north star. By reopening the Section 8 waiting list, we will present thousands of our neighbors with safe and stable housing opportunities.”

Doug Guthrie, chief executive and president of the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, told the Los Angeles Times he is expecting more than 365,000 applicants for the 30,000 available vouchers. The recipients of the vouchers will be determined by a lottery.

“Rental assistance programs like these fight against poverty and help reduce homelessness,” Guthrie said in a statement. “Our goal, with the reopening of HACLA’s Section 8 Waiting List lottery, is to help thousands of families who are struggling financially to find stable housing.”

Nearly 188,000 people applied for 20,000 vouchers in 2017, the last time the wait list was open.

Section 8 is the nation’s largest rental assistance program, with 2.1 million households receiving vouchers.

More information about the lottery is available at hacla.org or at 213-523-7328.

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