Section 8 offering draws a crowd in Charleston

Dozens of people lined up downtown outside the Kiawah Homes Community Center to apply for the Charleston Housing Authority's Housing Choice Voucher program (formerly known as Section 8).

Dozens of people lined up in downtown Charleston this morning for a chance to join a long waiting list for federal housing assistance.

A large crowd formed outside the Kiawah Homes Community Center to apply for the Charleston Housing Authority's Housing Choice Voucher program (formerly known as Section 8). The program gives families money so they can afford rent in the private market.

The problem is there are no openings, and the waiting list already numbers around 400 people, officials said. The housing authority last opened up the waiting list to new applicants several months back and some 300 people showed up to get a slot.

Sheila Frasier, 39, said she just wanted to get her name on the list. She lives in the Gadsden Green housing complex downtown, which has been the site of shootings and other problems in recent years. Frasier said she is eager to find a better place to raise her 4-year-old grandson but needs some help to afford a new place.

The line moved quickly, with workers handing out applications and giving advice to speed the process along. Most folks seemed in good spirits and remained hopeful they would soon get a shot at a voucher.

Read more about this event in Friday's editions of The Post and Courier.