An error message on the housing voucher waiting list online application on Oct. 22. (Screenshot by Guy Valerie Bosworth)
A waiting list for Baltimore’s Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8) had 6,500 applicants within 30 minutes of the application going live online. By noon of the second day, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) had received 44,488 applications for the list. Prior to the application website going live on Oct. 22, HABC had said there would only be 25,000 spots opened on the waiting list, and that they would be filled by a random lottery if the authority received more than 25,000 applications.
Applications to the waiting list can only be submitted online at http://www.jointhelist.org, and some residents have reported glitches while trying to apply on the website. Guy Valerie Bosworth, a senior at the University of Baltimore who is currently homeless, received an error message telling her to contact the housing authority the four times she attempted to apply on the first day.
Another woman, who said she is 61 and also living in a shelter, e-mailed the AFRO on Oct. 23, claiming the website for the application was down when she tried to access it.
Tania Baker, deputy director of communications for HABC, told the AFRO in an e-mail, “There was an issue yesterday (Oct. 22) that was quickly resolved. We have not heard of or experienced any issues today. We would encourage anyone using a PC to use the latest version of Internet Explorer.”
The waiting list application will remain active through Oct. 30. It is the first time since 2003 that HABC has been accepting new applications for the list.