OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The waiting list for Oklahoma’s Section 8 housing program is closing, and it could impact thousands of families who are looking for rent assistance in the immediate future.

The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) says its Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) waiting list will close to new applicants, effective Oct. 16.

In an interview on Tuesday with KFOR, a representative for the agency said many families already on the list have been waiting for years.

“By closing the waiting list, it will allow us to get through the applications that we already have,” said Holley Mangham, Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency.

OHFA receives funding for the program from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development to assist families with rental assistance statewide.

Current funding an average of 10,100 households each month, but the agency said there approximately 17,000 families currently waiting for rental assistance.

For some, the wait has been nearly three years.

”OHFA receives an average of 1,100 applications each month. The demand for assistance far exceeds available funding,” said OHFA executive director Deborah Jenkins.

OHFA says closing the waiting list will allow OHFA staff to focus its efforts on processing existing applications. 

“Once we reopen it up the wait will be significantly shorter,” added Mangham.

Applications will be accepted through Oct.15 at www.ohfa.org.