400 removed from GHURA’s Section 8 lottery program

Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority (PNC file photo)

To date, the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority has removed about 400 names from its Section 8 lottery program.

GHURA Section 8 Administrator Norma San Nicolas told PNC that letters went out to them at the end of December 2020 asking clients to respond by filling out the enclosed form and return it to GHURA no later than January 3, 2021.

The clients had the option of returning the form by mail, email, or to utilize the GHURA drop box located at the front of the building in Sinajana.

But San Nicolas said at least half of the 400 names removed had their letters returned undelivered.

“The remaining did not respond at all, even after we sent them a second letter giving them the option to appeal the removal of their names. Unfortunately, this process is necessary by HUD regulation and GHURA policy. We are required to review our waitlist periodically and purge names who are no longer interested in being considered for the program,” San Nicolas said.

The most recent Section 8 lottery was held last year in July 2020 and all pre-applications were received via online. The purpose of the lottery system is only to
establish a two-year waiting list by limiting the number of pre-applicants to 1,800.

San Nicolas said that a client on the waiting list does not mean they are guaranteed to receive housing assistance. “It is simply to establish a pool of potential applicants for admission to the program,” she said.

In 2020, the Section 8 program was responsible for housing a total of 239 families with 29 of these candidates selected from the new waitlist. This brings the total amount of Section 8 participants to 2,500 as of March 1, 2021.

Guidelines for the lottery program keep the waitlist running for two years at a time, San Nicolas said.

When a family’s name rises to the top, GHURA notifies each family in writing and through phone.

In many cases, San Nicolas said letters to constituents are not returned or deliverable because the applicant failed to notify GHURA of changes to mailing addresses or telephone numbers. GHURA makes at least three attempts to reach the family telephonically before they move to the next name on the list.

If you have any questions or concerns or believe that your name might have been removed from the section 8 lottery program, call 477-9851 to verify your status or update your contact information.