DCA Awarded Record Breaking Federal Funding Grant For Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher

By: Savannah Scarborough, Follow South Jersey Intern

SOUTH JERSEY – To reduce homelessness and other burdened individuals, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) announced its retrieval of $291.6 million in federal funding for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV). Throughout 2023, this funding, by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will help low-income households pay their rent by providing direct rent subsidy payments to landlords. 

This year’s funding, the highest renewal funding ever awarded to DCA, is a groundbreaking record amount of Section 8 renewal funding, approximately $28.9 million more than in 2022 and $73 million more than five years ago. 

“More than 99 percent of DCA’s Section 8 housing vouchers are fully utilized all year,” said DCA Commissioner Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver in a press release from the state. “This puts DCA in the best possible position when HUD calculates how much Section 8 renewal funding the Department receives. We are proud to be able to more quickly serve military veterans and people experiencing homelessness who are on the Section 8 waiting list.”

Now, with these funds, the DCA can serve 2,5000 military veterans on the Section 8 waiting list and 2,500 homeless New Jersians on the waiting list. The $291.6 million allocated will enable DCA to provide Section 8 housing vouchers to 24,260 households across the state. 

“Instead of waiting for years for a Section 8 housing voucher, people are waiting a matter of months, which makes a huge difference, especially for people who don’t have a place to live because they can’t afford rent,” said DCA Assistant Commissioner and Division of Housing and Community Resources Director Janel Winter. 

The HCV provides housing subsidies to New Jersians so the state’s residents have decent, safe, and sanitary housing. The process in which 20,000 applicants are chosen for HCV is through a random lottery system, in which then that applicant will be placed on the waitlist. The DCA prefers those that are veterans, homeless, disabled, suffering from domestic violence, and are local residents to apply. The HCV is currently not accepting applications for the Section 8 program. 

The DCA gives financial and technical assistance to an array of local governments, organizations, businesses, and individuals to improve the state’s quality of life. Recently, the DCA received the Section 9 High Performer designation from HUD for five consecutive years. 

In addition to the Section 8 federal funding, the DCA was awarded $29.4 million in administrative funding from HUD. The money will encourage greater landlord participation in the state to run the Section 8 HCV program effectively.

The DCA plans to launch the DASH (Document Access and Support of Housing) program to further improve the Section 8 HCV program. DASH will help New Jersians navigate the Section 8 process and ensure they can utilize their Section 8 housing voucher. Furthermore, the DCA assists households with a Section 8 voucher to find available housing units through partnering with community-based organizations. 

To learn more about the Section 8 HCV program, click here.  

To learn more about the DCA, click here.

Follow South Jersey provides local journalism which highlights our diverse communities; fosters transparency through robust, localized, and vital reporting that holds leaders and institutions accountable; addresses critical information needs; supports people in navigating civic life; and equips people with the information necessary to partake in effective community engagement. If there is a story or event you think we should cover, please send your tips to news@followsouthjersey.com with “NEWS” in the subject line.