The lack of affordable housing in L.A. county is taking a toll on human health. Recent headlines spotlight the most dramatic developments — from the deadly hepatitis A outbreak in homeless populations to the dumping of human waste in city streets — but the toxic stress of living day to day without stable housing may be dealing the strongest blow to families. Public coffers are also taking a hit: Children’s HealthWatch estimates that unstable housing among families with children will cost the U.S. $111 billion in health and education expenditures over the next 10 years.
On the other hand, affordable housing “can act like a vaccine” for kids and families, says Dr. Megan Sandel, associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine.
Housing Resource: Waiting List for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
Keep an eye on this blog for resources to help families who are struggling with housing issues. First up: a webinar and other resources to help families join the waiting list for Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. The waiting list is opening this Monday, October 16, at 6:00 am until October 29, at 5:00 pm PT. As this LA Times article explains, it was last open in October 2004.
The webinar below, hosted by the Los Angeles County Perinatal and Early Childhood Home Visitation Consortium and conducted by HACLA consultant Connie Choi, guides home visitors and other family service professionals who want to help their clients join the waiting list. (Download the slides here.)
The HACLA website gives details on the waitlist’s lottery, including FAQs, videos on how to submit an online application, and an application assistance locator. Waitlist applications must be submitted online, and the locator map shows where applicants can go to set up a free email account, get free online access, or receive assistance in submitting the application. Flyers and factsheets in various languages are also available to download and print. This one-page English-Spanish flyer lists all the essential info.