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Sarasota County earmarks federal money for affordable housing, opens Section 8 waiting list

Sarasota City Government

More immediately, the county's poorest families can now apply to be added to the county's waiting list for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers.

Yani Rosado, HCV Director of the Sarasota Housing Authority, says the agency will use a lottery system to randomly choose 1,250 applicants for the actual waiting list.

"Our goal is to house people as soon as possible." she said. "After the list closes, we're going to start pulling names from the waiting list."

Rosado says the agency expects to be able to issue vouchers fairly quickly to between 50 and 100 families.

The Housing Choice Voucher program helps tenants pay a share of their rent to private landlords.

Rosado says the agency has already received close to 3,000 new requests since Friday, so applicants should start preparing now.

"They need to have their paperwork, their social security cards, their birth certificates and their pay stubs," she said "It's very important because the sooner we get the file ready, the sooner they can start getting assistance."

Applications will be accepted through noon, Monday, April 18th.

In February 2022, Sarasota County leaders gathered to celebrate the opening of Amaryllis Park Place, an affordable 84-unit apartment building on Orange Avenue which serves residents 62 years and older.

The first phase of Lofts on Lemon in downtown Sarasota is expected to open later this year, with workforce units set aside for police officers, firefighters, teachers and nurses.

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Cathy Carter is the education reporter for WUSF 89.7 and StateImpact Florida.