Los Angeles Housing Voucher Lottery: 7 Families For Each Waiting List Place

Writing in Laist.com, David Wagner reports that the City of Los Angeles opened its Section 8 rental voucher waiting list for the first time in five years. Section 8 is the nation’s largest affordable housing (subsidized low-income housing) program in the nation. The City limits its waiting list to 30,000 families. The applications totaled 223,000, more than seven times the number of waiting list spots. The applicant families include more than 500,000 persons.

A lottery will determine which of the applications receive a place on the waiting list by December 1. It has been reported in 2021 that the average wait time for a family on the City of Los Angeles wait list was 24 months.

Housing costs (both rentals and owned housing) have skyrocketed ahead of incomes across California for decades, as land use regulation has been made more restrictive, principally through state measures (See Chapter 2, Saving California: Solutions to the state’s biggest policy problems).

Wendell Cox is principal of Demographia, an international public policy firm located in the St. Louis metropolitan area. He is a founding senior fellow at the Urban Reform Institute, Houston, a Senior Fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy in Winnipeg and a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman University in Orange, California. He has served as a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris. His principal interests are economics, poverty alleviation, demographics, urban policy and transport. He is co-author of the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey and author of Demographia World Urban Areas.