NORWALK (CBSLA.com) — Thousands of people lined up Monday morning for the chance to apply for low-cost, government-subsidized housing in the city of Norwalk.
Officials with the City of Norwalk Housing Authority began handing out applications at 8 a.m. at the Norwalk Arts and Sports Complex at 13200 Clarkdale Avenue.
Roughly 3,000 applications for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program waiting list were scheduled to be distributed through Sept. 24 or until all applications were handed out, city officials said.
By just past 7 a.m., a line of people could be seen going all around what appeared to be nearly a city block, according to aerial reports.
Only “very low-income” renters were eligible for the program, which requires total household gross incomes ranging from below $29,500 for one person to $54,800 for households of eight people, according to the city.
Applicants living or working in Norwalk and U.S. veterans were given preference on the waiting list. Applications were limited to one person per household.
Residents waiting in line took to social media to vent their frustration with the overwhelming turnout, including one Facebook user who claimed the first two people to get in line showed up on Saturday – two days before the application period began.
A fact sheet distributed by the city prior to the event warned prospective applicants that it “may be many months or several years before we are able to assist you with your rent. This is not an emergency program.”
The city of Norwalk has a population of just under 107,000 as of a 2013 census.