In Baltimore City this week, something is rising up for the first time in 11 years.
What is this timely zombie?
Why it's the Housing Choice Voucher Program, commonly known as Section 8.
This is a rare opportunity for city residents. The social service program that helps poor residents find affordable housing by giving vouchers to help towards the cost of rent/mortgage usually isn't open to accepting applications. When it is, it's open for about a week. This time it happens to be from October 22-30, 2014.
City residents that fill out their application correctly and are deemed eligible will be placed on the wait list. Then, a lottery system determines when residents will receive assistance.
There are 25,000 spots on the wait list. The city expects over 50,000 applications.
But once on the wait list, many hopeful residents can then expect to wait years without assistance. Sadly when an opening finally arises, many eligible participants have changed contact details and thus miss out on this rare opportunity.
And a Section 8 voucher is not a golden ticket. There has been plenty of criticism about the housing one can afford with the vouchers.
Section 8 has been a social program staple for a long time. People are excited for the wait list to open, but city residents are reminded that the relief is not guaranteed.
It's free to apply and residents might as well play the Section 8 lottery while they can.
Unfortunately, this zombie will go back to sleep right before Halloween, with no telling how long until it rises again.