The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) has grave concerns about the process by which the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) is opening its Housing Choice Voucher ("Section 8") wait list. The wait list is available for application from September 6 to 12, 2009. This is the first time the application process has been opened in six years. HANO is using its website, the Times Picayune and the Louisiana Weekly as its sole means for marketing the opening of the wait list.
Because many low-income residents don't subscribe to the Times Picayune and don't have internet access, GNOFHAC is urging HANO to conduct TV and radio advertising to give the public adequate notice that the wait list will be open. Additionally HANO should keep the wait list open for a minimum of 30 days rather than a mere six days. Finally, HANO should accept voucher applications that it received as early as August 23rd, because its public notice regarding the waitlist opening has been confusing and misleading.
GNOFHAC Executive Director James Perry remarks, "Despite the intense need for affordable housing in Orleans Parish, the Section 8 wait list is opening up for the first time in six years. HANO is doing so in a manner that fails to properly notify New Orleans low-income residents. HANO must do a better job of tending to the needs of those of it serves."