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What You Need To Know Today: Section 8 Waitlist Lottery, City Council Deadlocked, Student Loan Relief Application

 A “for lease” sign advertises an available apartment in the city of Los Angeles.
A “for lease” sign advertises an available apartment in the city of Los Angeles.
(David Wagner/LAist )
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Monday, October 17.  

Today in How To LA: Section 8 waitlist lottery opens, city council is deadlocked; plus student loan relief application launches.

These past couple of years have been tough on all of us, especially for those who have struggled to pay rent. Good news: there’s relief for low-income renters who may be eligible for rental housing assistance.

My colleague Julia Barajas wrote about everything you need to know now that the Section 8 waitlist lottery is open.

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Here’s Five Things You Need To Know About the Section 8 Waitlist Lottery Before You Apply: 

  1. There’s a household earning cap. For example, in order to qualify, a household of four must earn no more than $59,550. 
  2. You’ll need your social security number or an identification number for non-citizens.
  3. It could take several months or up to 10 years before the interview process begins. 
  4. You can apply if you don’t live in the city, but preference is given to people who live, work, or have been hired to work in the city of L.A. 
  5. While you can transfer your voucher to other areas outside of the city, you’re required to use it within the city for at least one year before moving somewhere else.
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Check out more information on these tips and more — like what are the requirements for convicted felons, if you can apply again if you’re already on the waitlist and if you need a high credit score to use the voucher — in Julia’s article today.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

The News You Need After You Stop Hitting Snooze

*At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

  • A week after the infamous racist Los Angeles City Council tape was leaked, L.A. City Council still remains deadlocked. Why? Protesters are committed to disrupting scheduled city hall meetings until two councilmembers on that call — Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo — resign. 
  • After City Council scandal, L.A. leaders are considering major changes to the power dynamics in the city, including school board elections. Acting Council President Mitch O’Farrell said he would push a proposal for L.A. Unified School District board candidates to receive public funding, potentially making it easier for first-time candidates or candidates with no political connections, to obtain a seat on the board. 
  • New York City’s city council has 51 members, meanwhile L.A. 's has 15. It’s been that way for nearly the last 100 years. Why? My colleague Caitlin Hernández explains the reasons behind why that is and how the current effort to expand the council. 
  • With L.A. County elections just a few weeks away, some of L.A.’s Asian American leaders are cautioning political candidates from making their communities a “scapegoat” or “political wedge” following the City Hall tape leak. 
  • You might soon notice that some of the cars you’re stuck in traffic with on the 405 have digital license plates. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new law that will allow Californians to get digital license plates, making it easier to renew registration automatically. As with nearly all of the latest tech, these plates come with a caveat: they have tracking capabilities. 
  • When Oaxacan Mexican-American restaurateur and author Bricia Lopez heard Nury Martinez and the other L.A. leaders spout and laugh at derogatory remarks about Indigenous people on the city council tape last Sunday, she felt an immense amount of anger. Read this article about the pain of being forgotten, left behind and silenced. 
  • Did you know that serene, ambient music can bring you tranquility? My colleague Robert Garrova talked to several musicians who specialize in creating therapeutic soundscapes for Angelenos. Learn more and find out where you can catch these spaces here.  
  • According to new findings by Stanford University, pollution from wildfire smoke has become dangerously commonplace for millions of Californians. 
  • Could Yankee Candle reviews be a reliable sign of a COVID-19 surge? Here’s what a Northeastern University professor found out by doing a research project on his own. 
  • President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris visited California to talk about the need for a cohesive, national strategy for climate resilience funding. The climate change crisis is becoming more severe as the heatwaves and droughts increase and become more dangerous. 
  • Spaghettified. Burped. Shredded. These are terms we usually associate with Italian dinners, not outer space and certainly not black holes. But astronomers recently discovered something super unusual when they used a powerful radio telescope: black holes were shredding stars that were getting too close to them.

Wait! One More Thing...Top Three Tea-Sipping Trends

Baseball players in Dodgers blue lean over the dugout and look dejected.
The Los Angeles Dodgers dugout reacts during the ninth inning as the season comes to a disappointing close.
(Harry How
Getty Images)

THREE - The hottest celebrity looks at the Second Annual Academy Museum Gala

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Have you checked out who was at the Academy Museum Gala on Saturday night? Some of my favorite looks were Keke Palmer, Thuso Mbedu and Taylor Russell.

TWO - ICYMI: The Dodgers were knocked off of the playoffs 

The day I decided to watch my first Dodgers game ever was the day that our team just so happened to lose against the San Diego Padres. I was actually starting to get into the game! It was a huge upset, not only to me, but to Dodgers fans all over L.A. They won over 100 wins in the regular season. It turned out to be historic in a terrible way. My colleague reports:

“The Dodgers' loss marked the first time a team lost a playoff series to a division opponent after not losing a series to that team during the regular season. The Padres finished the season 22 games behind the Dodgers in the National League West.”

Maybe next year!

ONE - President Joe Biden’s student loan debt relief application opens up. Group chats and social media threads with the link blew up. 

As soon as I saw this viral tweet from a well-respected journalist friend of mine, I immediately applied. After that, several of my friends and family members sent links to our group chats about applying for student loan forgiveness program. I’m sure someone you know has sent you the link too…or you’ve seen it plastered everywhere on Twitter, IG or TikTok. Are you curious about the details of the plan? Read more about it here.

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