By 8 a.m., the line was beginning to wrap around the health unit. The Abbeville Police Department had to be called to the location twice to calm down the crowd. Businesses employees near the health unit began to stand outside to make sure no one parked in front of their business.
At 10 a.m., Section 8 employees began accepting pre-applications for Section 8 vouchers for rental assistance. By 11:30 a.m., it was over and everyone had left.
What the people were in line for was to fill out pre-Section 8 Housing Voucher applications for low income parish residents. The deadline was noon on Tuesday.
Not since 2009 has the federal government accepted new applicants for the program. Those who applied in 2009 eventually qualified for housing assistance.
Well, the federal government needed a new list of names in south Louisiana, including Lafayette and Vermilion Parish, to qualify for the rental assistance program. The word went out and the people came to apply - early.
Those who got there early, got their names first in the computer; thus, they were going to be the first ones to qualify for the voucher program .
Vermilion Parish is also lumped in with Lafayette Parish in the application process.
The two parishes combined to collect more than 900 applicants; 475 are from Vermilion Parish.
Katie Anderson, the chief operations officer for the Lafayette Housing Authority, said, “We had more applicants than expected. We knew there would be a lot of interest, we just did not know how much.”