After an eight year closure, the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority is pleased to be able to open its Housing Choice Voucher waiting list this year. While the waiting list has been closed, CMHA has developed a system that improves the application process eliminating the need for applicants to apply in person. When the waiting list opens on September 8, 2015, applicants will be able to enter and update their HCV application information directly over the web using an internet accessible smart phone, tablet or computer. By converting to a web-based application process, CMHA believes that the application process will provide improved access to housing resources and be more convenient for housing applicants.
The web-based application will be available on CMHA’s website (www.cmhanet.com) 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for application entry and updates. Applicants will not be able to enter applications at CMHA offices. Once an application has been submitted, an applicant can check on the status of the application by calling the automated status line at 614-421-6180. The recording will provide a brief status of the application and note the next steps in the application process. The automated application status line is available 24 hours per day.
Applications will be added to the HCV applications pool and will be selected for the waitlist by a lottery process. CMHA will not make a lottery pull from the applicant pool before October 5th. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications timely, but with the lottery selection to occur no earlier than October 5th; applications only need to be entered before the lottery is processed to be available for selection to the waitlist. Applications will not be preferenced by the date and time of an application, so there is no advantage to rushing to be first to submit an application.
Another benefit of the web based application process is that CMHA anticipates being able to keep the Housing Choice Voucher program applications process open indefinitely. CMHA believes that its web application process will provide better access for families in need of housing as well as give a clearer measure of the true demand for housing in Columbus. Applicants are encouraged to visit CMHA’s website (www.cmhanet.com) for additional information and updates on the opening of HCV applications.