The Housing Authority of Winston-Salem (HAWS) recently announced its housing choice voucher list will open for three days in April,

The housing choice voucher program helps provide rental assistance for qualified residents. Eligibility is determined by the gross income and family size of applicants. If a person qualifies, they pay 40% of their income toward rent and utilities, while HAWS pays the difference.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a family's earnings generally must not exceed 50% of the area median income.

HAWS Executive Director Kevin Cheshire said at a board of commissioners meeting Tuesday that the challenge now is the availability of units.

"The problem is it's not apples to apples, meaning if I can pay $1,300 with a voucher and Commissioner (Doria) Stitts can pay $1,300 out of pocket, she can move in tomorrow with no questions asked," he said. "Whereas I've got to have inspections, I've got to have a bunch of paperwork, I've got to deal with the housing authority."

As of January, 3,368 of the vouchers were leased, or 74% of the total. For comparison, the state average is around 81%.

The waiting list is expected to open on April 2 at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. on April 4.

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