OAKLAND (KCBS) – The need for affordable housing was never more evident than on Tuesday, when a line of Section 8 applicants snaked through the Oakland Main Library.

The last time the Oakland Housing Authority took applications for Section 8 vouchers, or federal rental assistance, was in 2006. But now, the city is accepting applications through Saturday, with help and computers available at three Oakland libraries.

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“When you have people showing up at public libraries throughout Oakland, lining up just to use a computer to get their chance of getting a voucher,” said Eric Johnson, the Executive Director of the Oakland Housing Authority. “You realize what the real pent up need is. Over the course of the past two years, a lot of families have been really hard hit.”

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

10,000 applicants will be selected from an expected pool of 100,000 for eligibility screening.

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Monique Griffin was among the applicants in line. She has found it hard to make ends meet on a retail salary, with a five-year-old son.

“It really is hard to try to scrape, hoping to find some pennies in the couch or something,” she said. “Just to be able to do certain things.”

A family of three whose annual income does not exceed $40,650 could qualify for the federal program.

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