CMHA Will Accept Applications for Voucher Program Wait List June 4 - June 8


The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) will accept applications for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) wait list Monday, June 4, through Friday, June 8.

During this time, adults (18 and older) may submit a pre-application online at for a chance to obtain a place on the voucher wait list. After all the pre-applications are in, CMHA said a third-party vendor will conduct a random lottery to determine which applicants will earn a spot.

“We encourage people who are interested in securing housing through the Housing Choice Voucher program to apply during this application period,” said CMHA CEO Jeffery K. Patterson, in a statement.

The HCVP (formerly, and still sometimes disparagingly, referred to as "Section 8") provides rental assistance to help low-income people afford privately owned rental housing in Cuyahoga County. Participants in the HCVP program pay approximately 30 percent of their income to their landlord, and CMHA covers the balance.

The waiting list for vouchers is extremely competitive. In 2015, when 10,000 tenants were selected for the waiting list, roughly 55,000 had applied.

CMHA's HCVP Director LaTweeta Smyers said in March that of the 10,000 lottery winners from 2015, only 1,059 remain, largely because of low response rates. That's why she's hoping to replenish the list with this round of applications. 

There are 15,283 people who receive vouchers through CMHA currently, nowhere near enough to assist the thousands of families living at or below the poverty line. About 50-60 families, Smyers said in a presentation, are terminated from the program each month. As vouchers become available, new tenants form the wait list get them.

For more information and context, you can read Scene's feature story from February on barriers faced by participants in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.