The Hawaii Public Housing Authority is in the process of handing out housing vouchers to 200 families statewide under the federal rental assistance program known as Section 8.

The move comes nearly four months after the housing authority opened up — for the first time in a decade — its waitlist for Section 8, formerly known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

By the time the three-day application period ended in August, 10,665 people applied for a program that allows voucher recipients to contribute only 30 percent of their income toward rent.

The housing authority had initially planned to hand out only 50 vouchers, but, to meet an overwhelming demand, it increased to 200.

“The distribution of these vouchers will not only supply a roof over a needy family’s head, but will offer a fresh start for these struggling families,” Hakim Ouansafi, executive director of the housing authority, said in a statement. ” The opening of the Section 8 waitlist was part of Governor Ige’s Housing Strategy. This is a community effort and the (housing authority) is calling on all landlords in the community to assist the agency in leasing rental units to needy families.”

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