OHA working bugs out of new housing assistance application process

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Despite the Omaha Housing Authority's effort to avoid the troubles it had last year, frustrations are still the rule for some trying to apply for housing assistance.

The system has been revamped but people are again stuck for hours trying to work through it.

Brenda and Sade were trying to get on the waiting list for Section 8 housing vouchers Monday. They were at it for an hour-and-a-half when we caught up with them.

Brenda Gross said, “When you click on the steps it will say page reload. It will say error and it's frustrating."

This year, the Housing Authority is asking people to apply for housing vouchers online. This after thousands of calls overwhelmed the system last year.

Brenda was one of the people who waited hours on the phone only to be hung up on. She was hoping the online system would work better.

"Simple. Simple and easy, yes. I was hoping to click on apply applicants and it just pull of the form and then fill it out."

Sade Hayes had been at the library just as long as Brenda working on her application. She's resorted to calling to try to get some answers.

“I've been trying to get through but I can't get through. I've actually tried several times and I can't get through."

At the Housing Authority they recognize that with this being the first year of implementing the system there could be some glitches but overall they feel they're headed in the right direction."

OHA CEO Joanie Poore said, “It’s brand new so we're working through any snags but I think the fact that the list is open for over a week is also a benefit. There's not such a time crunch that today I'm going to run out of time, those sorts of things."

In past years the system worked on a first-come-first-serve basis with the window to get your name in less than a day. The Housing Authority is hoping the extra time will be helpful.

Poore said, “If anyone does have any technical issues or anything like that getting access to submit their screening information to potentially get put on the wait list there's time for them to ask for help."

As for Brenda and Sade, they say sticking it out. . Is about the only thing they can do.

Approximately 10,000 people are expected to apply to get on the waiting list for Section 8 housing. From there, 3,000 thousand names will be randomly selected to start the process of receiving a voucher.

You have until next Monday before noon to get your application in to the Omaha Housing Authority.