"It was crazy!" Chaos in Racine County as rental assistance is offered for the first time in two years

RACINE COUNTY (WITI) -- For the first time in two years, Racine County is accepting rental assistance applications, and hundreds of people stood in line for hours waiting to apply. Before the doors were even opened on Monday morning, October 13th, Racine police had to be called. There was chaos outside the building at 5:30 Monday morning.

"It was crazy!" one person who was in line to apply for rental assistance told FOX6 News.

Many expected a line, but they didn't expect the fights that broke out outside the Racine County Housing Authority Monday morning.

"People were pushing. They knocked an old lady over," another person who was in line said.

"Everything just went haywire, because everyone was trying to get to the front door," a third person who was in line said.

Inside was the opportunity to get on the waiting list for rental assistance for the first time in more than two years.

"This could be the last this ever happens again. Who knows," an individual who was in line told FOX6 News.

Monday morning brought a chance for those who are eligible to apply to receive up to about $800 in rental assistance, depending on their income and family size. To be eligible, applicants must make 50 percent of the county's median income or less. That's around $34,000 or less for a family of four.

"If they could just knock $100 to $200 off my rent, it would be great," a person looking to apply for rental assistance said.

Officials with the Housing Authority say even though they recognize the need, they weren't expecting the more than 400 people who showed up and the chaos that came with the crowd. It took about six officers to get things under control.

Crews were on hand to clean up garbage and chairs that remained at the scene from people who camped out overnight.

Police officers were able to get applicants back in line and applications were handed out outside in an effort to keep things moving inside.

"A lot of people don't have jobs, income. The economy is bad -- so we all pray for this. It will help me," a person hoping to receive rental assistance said.

The Executive Director of Racine County's Housing Authority is warning folks about a scam in which people are apparently trying to sell these rental applicants on Facebook for $10 each. The Housing Authority's executive director says there's no need for that, because everyone who wants an application will receive one.

For additional information on rental assistance in Racine County, CLICK HERE to visit the Housing Authority of Racine County's website or one of the following links: