Tuesday is deadline to apply for Mesa’s housing voucher program

The City of Mesa says they’re seeing more than twice the demand they expected for this round of applications.
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 10:18 AM MST
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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — If you haven’t already, Tuesday is the deadline for folks to apply for the city of Mesa’s housing voucher program. And already they’re seeing more than twice the demand they expected for this round of applications.

It’s been since 2016 that the City of Mesa opened its waitlist for Section 8 vouchers. When the city’s housing authority opened up applications for its latest round, they expected about 10,000 people to sign up to hopefully get a spot on the waitlist. But when Arizona’s Family checked in with housing officials Monday evening, they already had 19,000 applications.

“What that tells me is that housing is tough right now. The market rents are high. People are scraping by to be able to afford those rents. And they all need the assistance. They’re willing to work and pay a portion. But then they need that subsidy as well,” said Mary Brandon, the deputy director of Community Services & Housing for Mesa.

Out of those applicants, only 4,000 people will be selected to be put on the waitlist. Those housing vouchers are funded by HUD. Even if someone does get put on the waitlist, Brandon says the wait time could be up to three years before help is given. The city also faces another challenge of having a hard time finding and retaining landlords who will accept them.

In the last three years, the number of  Section 8 landlords in Mesa has dropped from 500 to 300, according to Brandon.

“There are landlords that have chosen not to work with the program because they say they can get a higher rent without our program. Also, they think the little bit of paperwork they don’t need right now. So it has been a challenge but we’ve also had some really great landlords that have stuck with us and are assisting residents,” she said.

People have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to apply in person at the housing authority office located at  200 S. Center St, Bldg. 1, Mesa, AZ 85210. Applicants can also find a link online: https://www.mesaaz.gov/residents/housing/application-wait-list