BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Housing Authority of Kern is opening the Housing Choice Voucher program waiting list on Jan. 28.

The program often referred to as “Section 8” provides rental assistance to low-income families.

The waiting list is being opened to new applicants that meet strict financial criteria for the first time since 2012.

Eligible applicants can begin applying online on Friday, Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. through Monday, Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. Voucher recipients are selected randomly from the waiting list and officials said they will now accept applications on an annual basis.

People interested in the program can learn about eligibility guidelines and other requirements at hcv.kernha.org.

–Editor’s note: This post was originally published on Dec. 29 and has since been edited.