During our recent five-day waitlist application opening, we received 2,144 applications. On April 9, 2021, 600 applications were randomly selected during a virtual pull to be added to our waitlist. While we are thrilled to issue more vouchers in our community, we cannot lose sight of the sobering fact that nearly 72% of those who applied will not be added to our waitlist. This is unacceptable to us and we will continue to work diligently to find every opportunity available to assist households with rental assistance in whatever forms become available. There are rental assistance funds available. If you need assistance, please visit our website to get more information. This assistance is available to both subsidized and unsubsidized households.
We are encouraged that the shortage of affordable housing and housing rental assistance is getting unprecedented attention from Federal and State legislators and private companies, associations, and individuals. The Bremerton Housing Authority and Housing Kitsap are expecting an allocation of emergency housing vouchers very soon. In addition, the Biden Administration has proposed a 15% increase in HUD funding as well as a 20% increase to expand the housing choice voucher program in their FY 2022 budget proposal. This would provide rental assistance to an additional 200,000 households nationally. We expect the actual numbers may fall short of this proposal but are encouraged that the commitment to affordable housing is a priority to this administration’s efforts.
I want to thank our private landlords who remain committed to renting to our voucher holders. I know that many of you work closely with our staff to support these households. We could not do this work without you. We need more of you! If you are a landlord in Kitsap County and would like to find out more about renting to our voucher holders, please contact Kristafer Whitcher at 360-616-7138 or Trinaty Alexander at 360-616-7135. We would love to answer your questions and walk you through the process. Available affordable housing units is one of our main challenges to housing people and we need all the help that we can get.
The housing authority central offices will remain closed to the public at least through the end of June. However, staff are both in the office and working from home every day to meet the needs of our residents, program participants, agency partners and landlords. Contact us if you need us and if you get a voice recording, please leave a message. We will get back to you as soon as we can. You can also leave us written communication or documents through our drop box at our 600 Park Avenue Bremerton Office.
We are diligently pursuing vaccination efforts for both our staff and our residents. If you are a resident of Bremerton Housing Authority and need assistance with scheduling or coordinating a ride to get the vaccination, please reach out to Tobi Shaffer at 360-377-0808 or Carol Sittler at 360-473-0323 and we will help you. The vaccination is a key component to getting our community back open and keeping all our community households safe and healthy. We are encouraging everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. It is an honor to serve our community and during this pandemic our commitment to customer service remains strong and adaptable.
Click here for BHA Vision, Mission and Statement of Values.