Section 8 housing online pre-application process ends Friday

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s a lottery that could put a roof over your head, or it could leave you to fend for yourself.

The Memphis Housing Authority (MHA) is accepting pre-applications for its Section 8 program.

You have to apply online.

Throughout the day Monday, FOX13 saw people trying to apply in person. MHA directed them to a QR code to apply.

“I would love for him to able to work and live in something of his own,” Memphis grandmother Velma Sims said.

Sims’s 38-year-old grandson doesn’t always know where he’s going to lay his head at night.

“He needs to learn to be responsible and not begging. He acts like he has to stand on the corner and beg,” she said.

Early Monday morning, Sims drove her grandson down to the Memphis Housing Authority to submit a pre-application for MHA’s Section 8 Housing Program. But like many others who came to the office, they were turned away and told to apply online.

“I’m taking him to the library so he can apply,” Sims said.

Dexter Washington with the Memphis Housing Authority says the agency anticipates a flood of applications – 30,000 — but will narrow the waiting list down to 10,000.

“Once the waiting list is closed, a random lottery process will be utilized to select the 10,000 pre-applicants that will be placed on the new waiting list,” Washington said.

The demand for housing has grown since the start of the pandemic and with the bite of inflation.

“As we are all aware, we are in a tight rental market, and families are in a desperate need for housing,” said Cheiktha Dowers, with the Memphis Housing Authority.

Sims is hopeful her grandson gets a golden ticket.

“I want him to get a feel of living in decent, safe, sanitary housing,” she said.

The application process opened Monday.

It closes Friday at 5 p.m.

You must complete the pre-application online to be considered.

If you don’t have a computer, you’re encouraged to visit a library to apply.

CLICK HERE to apply online.