Ms. Johnson* currently lives in an apartment in Durham in a Durham Housing Authority (DHA) property. This summer, she was offered a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) by the DHA to find a new place to live.
Her goal is to eventually become a homeowner and she has inquired about the Home Ownership Program that DHA runs. She was told that she cannot get into the program until she has gone from HCV applicant to participant, which means that she must find a landlord that will accept her voucher and successfully rent there for a year before she can enroll in the homeownership program.
At the time of our interview, she was still searching for a suitable place. She had just been granted a one month extension of the voucher expiration date, because she had not been able to find anything at that point. She is using online resources, a real estate agent, and word of mouth to find a property that will take the voucher. DHA gave her a list of landlords that accept HCVs, but it is up to her to contact them to see if they still accept HCVs and if they have any vacancies. With all that she has been through and the short timeline to secure a place before the voucher expires, the process is overwhelming.
*Name changed to protect her privacy.