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Virginia Beach housing program to accept applications after nearly 10 years

The waiting list opens back up tomorrow. This is big news for families who’ve waited years for assistance.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — For the first time in nearly a decade, Virginia Beach’s Housing Choice Voucher Program is once again accepting applications.

Virginia Beach Administrator of Rental Housing Programs David Grigsby said his team hasn't opened the waiting list since 2012 mainly due to the sheer number of applicants.

“We took applications in 2012 and we got about 14,000 applications. So, it’s taken this long for us to get to the end of that waiting list," Grigsby explained.

The program helps low-income families by paying all or part of their rent.

Grigsby said they still haven’t finished processing all the applications from 2012, but they expect to finish up next year. 

“So in order to pull people off the waiting list in March, we’re going to need a new set of applicants," Grigsby said.

According to Virginia Beach Housing and Neighborhood Preservation, there are limited vouchers and limited funding so immediate assistance is not guaranteed.

When vouchers are available, applicants will be selected from the waiting list but the time you applied does not determine your order on the waiting list.

Rather, selection is "determined by local preferences and random lottery."

Families can apply for a place on the waiting list, starting tomorrow.

“Based on just phone calls we’ve gotten, engagement on our social media, I expect there’s going to be thousands of people applying," Grigsby said. "Certainly enough to get us through many, many years.” 

Grigsby said the need for affordable housing has only grown larger in recent years.  

“The need is tremendous. It’s probably gone up some during the pandemic," he said.

That’s where this program steps in to help. Families chose where they want to live, and the government will subsidize their rent by paying it directly to their landlord. 

Grigsby said the most rewarding part of his job is getting families into stable housing – especially those who need it most.  

“They can live in safe, sanitary, and decent housing,” he said. “A lot of our participants are either elderly or disabled, so they really don’t have any options other than to have public assistance in order to live on their own. And it’s rewarding to let them have a life of dignity.”  

Virginia Beach Housing & Neighborhood Preservation will reopen the waiting list for the Housing Choice Voucher Program on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Waiting list applications will only be available and accepted online here. 

If you need in-person assistance, rental housing staff will be available to help you complete the online application at the following Virginia Beach locations Tuesday, from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.:

  • Bayside & Special Services Library, 936 Independence Blvd.
  • Kempsville Area Library, 832 Kempsville Road
  • Princess Anne Area Library, 1444 Nimmo Parkway
  • Joseph V. Grimstead, Sr. Seatack Community Recreation Center, 141 S. Birdneck Road
  • Williams Farm Recreation Center, 5252 Learning Circle