LETTER: Jersey City Section 8 applications should’ve been available in person


In a letter to the editor, Jersey City resident Renato “Ato” Tuazon says that the local housing authority should have had Section 8 Housing Voucher Program applications available in person, as opposed to just an online lottery.

The Holland Gardens buildings in Jersey City, part of their housing authority complex. Photo via jcha-gov.us.
The Holland Gardens buildings in Jersey City, part of their housing authority complex. Photo via jcha-gov.us.

Dear Editor,

From May 15, 2017 to May 19, 2017, the Jersey City Housing Authority will accept applications for its Section 8 Housing Voucher Program. This will be the first time in 15 years that applicants to the program will be accepted.

The voucher program is intended to help the certain groups of individuals (i.e. Jersey City residents, veterans and single elderly and/or persons with disabilities) who are generally in need of financial help with their rental and housing needs.

It is a sad day for Jersey City’s Section 8 applicants when we make it difficult for them to apply when only online applications are required.

It is most certain that some or most of these needy applicants have no access to personal computers and that mail-in applications would be the easiest and convenient and cheapest way for them to submit their applications.

It is my understanding that the City is supposed to serve its residents and make it easy for them to avail of its services instead of the other way around.

This looks like we are making it easy for the City and its third party lottery company and life difficult for the Section 8 applicants.

The City suggests that applicants with no computers go to public libraries to access the Voucher 8 website and submit their applications online. Doesn’t the City realize that some of these needy residents might not have the time or ability to go to libraries? Some may be working not just one or maybe two jobs and cannot afford to be absent from work. Or they maybe handicapped or taking care full time of a handicapped family member.

If the City allows homeowners, who are relatively better off than Section 8 applicants, to submit mail-in property tax assessments appeals, why can the City not do the same for the unfortunate residents of Jersey City?

It is indeed a sad day for Jersey City when we continue to treat the “haves and have nots” differently.

But there is a remedy available before it is too late to help the poor residents of our City. I am calling on Mayor Fulop to extend the submission deadline for the Section 8 applications and allow the option of mail-in applications.

Renato “Ato” Tuazon

Jersey City Resident