Hundreds line up overnight in Passaic to apply for Section 8 housing

PASSAIC, New Jersey (WABC) -- Hundreds of residents lined up overnight Monday in Passaic to apply for affordable housing, and by noon, 1,500 applications were submitted.

The lines were long all morning but started building Sunday as many camped out to apply for Section 8 housing.

The process runs rather smoothly, with police officers directing residents through the winding masses to drop off their applications.

"The rent is going high," applicant Cynthia Rodriguez said. "Even though you have a job, it is still hard for you to pay rent. So it is good that you need help from the government sometimes, you know, in order to get by."

More than 8,000 applications have been distributed, and the deadline to turn them in is Monday. So many say the long wait is worth it.

"I waited for about two hours, and the process was a long time," applicant Evelyn McClendon said. "When you go inside, they just staple your paper, date and time, and that is it."

The city of Passaic has nearly 700 public housing units, but the Section 8 housing provides assistance from government in paying rent.

"Everything is always a struggle," Rodriguez said. "Even buying food is a struggle because of prices that go up. Look at a gallon of milk, $4 already."

At its peak, the line stretched out to Main Street. The application deadline is 4 p.m.
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