HUD Ranks Lakewood’s Rental Assistance Program Among Top In The Nation

ltrapThe Lakewood Township Residential Assistance Program (LTRAP), once again attained a perfect 100% score on the Section Eight Management Assessment Program, (SEMAP). SEMAP is the tool HUD uses to measure the performance of housing providers administering the Section 8 housing choice voucher program. On April 29th, LTRAP received notice from HUD that it scored 100% for 2009. LTRAP has consistently been ranked by HUD in the “high” performance category, always scoring above 90% in the annual SEMAP rating.

Founded and led by Rabbi Meir Hertz since its inception in 1977, LTRAP is operated by the Lakewood Tenants Organization (LTO), a New Jersey not-for-profit organization.  In April, LTRAP marked 33 years of serving the affordable housing needs of Lakewood’s residents.

LTRAP is sponsored locally by the Township of Lakewood, however, one hundred (100%) percent of its funding is derived from HUD. There are a total of 109 Section 8 programs in New Jersey: 80 are administered by housing authorities, and 29 by housing agencies.  LTRAP is by far the largest private (non-governmental) agency providing affordable housing in the state. As this SEMAP score shows, it is also one of the very best in the nation—public or private.

  LTRAP currently administers 1,058 Section 8 Rental Assistance Program vouchers. All are leased to income-eligible senior or disabled households and families. All are occupying safe, decent and sanitary dwelling units in the private rental market, with more than 800 participating landlords.

  LTRAP currently has 1,230 names on its Waiting List, 927 of which are Lakewood residents.  Lakewood residents receive a preference over non-residents.  LTRAP stopped taking applications in December, 2004, and will reopen applications’ intake when the current list is nearly depleted and the prospect for assisting additional applicants improves. Unfortunately, due to severe federal budgetary cutbacks there has been no new funding awarded to the Section 8 program in the past 15 years.  Consequently, the waiting list moves very slowly.

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  1. This program pumps millions into Lakewood. Best of all its for the poor, not the rich. And is handled fairly, by great staff. A credit to our town.

  2. The Obama Administration is requesting $17.1 billion to renew vouchers in 2011, an increase of $875 million above the 2010 funding level. But this amount is likely to be just enough to renew all vouchers in use this year..

    Agav, the Administration’s budget would also set aside $85 million for 10,000 new vouchers for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

    Nevertheless, severe housing affordability problems among low-income renters will continue to far exceed the capacity of federal rental assistance programs to respond…

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