SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – The window is now closed for applicants to join a waiting list for public housing in the city of Savannah.

Before the closing of applications for social housing in Savannah, more than 2,000 applications had already been submitted.

That’s less than 24 hours after opening the window.

Yolanda Fontaine, the Savannah Authority’s director of property management, said they’ve never been in a time like this before.

“As we are all suffering and facing this difficult time, especially with rental costs soaring, we expected the need to be great.”

Public housing rents are calculated on 30% of the applicant’s income.

There are five public housing communities run by the housing authority.

Families who apply hope to get two, three, four or five bedroom accommodation, but even these are rare.

Fontaine said, “We’re all in the same boat, with great need, enormous need … without enough resources, without enough units to support our neighbours.”

She said they open the waitlist based on need, as required by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, not on the number of available slots.

Some people even refuse the service when they are selected because they no longer need it.

“We know that we always need to have the waiting list as fresh as possible with people who still have a need so that we can accommodate them as soon as there is a ready unit available.”

They don’t have a specific timeframe for how long people might wait.

“You know there’s no way to tell. It just depends on how many people are on that waiting list before you until your name can be called.

Seeing thousands of applicants can intimidate some families, but Fontaine said sometimes people submit multiple applications and having your name on the list is the only way to get a call.

“We can’t serve you if we don’t know you and you’re not on this waiting list.”

If you received your application before 4:30 p.m. today, here are the next steps:

  • Housing authority staff will review applications and retrieve your information.
  • Requests will be date and time stamped and families will be contacted based on this information.
  • Next, you will be asked to complete an eligibility package to submit your personal information such as social security, birth certificates, and income of household members.
  • From there, you will wait to be placed in an available unit.

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