Jeanette Taylor applied for an affordable housing voucher in Chicago in 1993. It was only on Tuesday that she was told she was on the top of the waiting list. “I have no words for how this system continues to fail our communities and those in need of stable, AFFORDABLE housing,” she tweeted.

Housing Choice Voucher program is meant to be a federally funded pathway for low-income people to afford housing. Most of the time, the program fails to find a suitable place to live for those on the voucher. The program is supposed to provide a way for people to get back on their feet and earn money.

About a quarter of low-income tenants who need federal rental assistance actually receive it. Landlords then get a subsidy directly from their public housing authority, and the renters pay the difference. “Everyone is shocked but this is pretty standard,” Courtney Welch, a council member in Emeryville, California, said.

“Twenty-nine years is exceptionally long, but I know two people personally that were on the section 8 wait list for over a decade. One got it after 11 years, the other after 13. They both signed up at age 18. And, even after getting off the waiting list, tenants often do more waiting, still.”
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