Why doesn’t Burbank have a lottery system for its Section 8 rental subsidy picks?


We’ll make this one easy.

Glendale and other cities use a lottery system to decide who gets Section 8 from among all of the many applicants on their waiting lists. They’ll apply a few preferential filters — like veterans status and family dependents or homelessness — but in general, each applicant gets a countdown waiting list number as assigned by a special lottery. Everyone then knows their basic place on the list.

Burbank does no such thing. They instead apply a varying array of filters to decide who comes up on the list and when. According to the silly and evasive explanations that staff tries to give whenever they’re pinned down on the subject — and usually only by Dr. Gordon — unless you’re a disabled current homeless Burbank resident who’s also an elderly veteran with children, and extremely low income to boot, you’re out of luck when it comes to a Section 8 rental subsidy in Burbank.

In other words, Burbank’s Section 8 picks are arbitrary, capricious, and all done in secrecy. Why not a lottery method instead, Burbank? Talk about a lack of transparency.

And also this. How many of Burbank’s grants are being transported out of town? That’s right– it’s legal, but many of Burbank’s Section 8 grants go to out-of-towners. And  some very far away.

Here’s another question for the council. Is it true that the Cusumanos no longer take new Section 8’s at their buildings?

With all that Burbank has done for them over the years, why not?


Someone just reminded us of that famous “The Randomizer” staff says they use to make these Section 8 subsidy decisions. Which they try to play off as resembling this:

It’s not. The process ain’t “random,” either.



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2 responses to “Why doesn’t Burbank have a lottery system for its Section 8 rental subsidy picks?

  1. Another anonymous

    Apparently they use a software system that randomizes waiting list applicants automatically. BTW, just emailed the Housing Authority Manager to ask for statistics on vouchers moving out of Burbank and how much $ Burbank is paying other locales.

    • semichorus


      Their “randomizer” relies upon the inputting of selection criteria that varies with whatever emphasis they want to put on each category.

      In other words, with stresses here and there — which they won’t define — it AIN’T random.

      Will this be their answer? — “They have no control over it, people!”

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