As bluebonnets bloom across Texas, we thought it would be fitting to introduce the latest winner of our Arlington Citizen-Journal Facebook photo contest.
Donna Wrachford’s image of a bee in a bluebonnet field off Cooper Street is now featured as our May cover photo.
Wrachford’s photo was selected as our latest installment of the winter contest in which we asked readers to submit snapshots of what the city means to them.
Check out the Facebook page, where two other photos Wrachford submitted — one of the Tan Tara structure at Caelum Moor in Richard Greene Linear Park and another outside AT&T Stadium — have also been posted.
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Thanks for the photos, everyone, and be sure to watch out for our next winner in June.
Open enrollment set for rent assistance
Very low income, elderly or disabled residents can apply for rental housing assistance in Arlington during a two-week open enrollment period starting early next month.
The Arlington Housing Authority will accept applications for its Housing Choice Voucher program starting at 8:30 a.m. Monday and ending at 1 p.m. May 16. Applications must be made online at www.arlingtonhousing.us, and applicants must have an active email address.
The housing authority receives federal funding to assist 3,600 households. Of those, 48 percent are elderly or persons with a disability, 48 percent are working and 4 percent temporarily have no income, Executive Director David Zappasodi said. An estimated 15,000 households are expected to apply for housing assistance during the open enrollment period, he said.
“There is a tremendous need in our community. We are experiencing an increasingly greater number of households in need of rental housing assistance while federal housing resources are being reduced,” Zappasodi said. “Even though it appears to be trending in the wrong direction, the housing authority appreciates the resources it has received and the opportunity to assist thousands of families that desperately need help to pay their rent that enables them to live in reasonably safe, decent rental housing they can afford.”
This is the first time the waiting list has opened up since December 2011. As households exit the program, which is typically 40 per month, the authority selects applicants from its waiting list to maintain the program at maximum capacity, Zappasodi said.
To ensure all residents have equal access, applications received are randomly assigned a position on the waiting list.
“Therefore, there is no rush to be among the first to apply,” Zappasodi said.
Applicants, who will receive instructions after their application is successfully submitted, can begin checking the status of their spot on the waiting list online after May 25.
Computers are available at any Arlington public library or at the Arlington Housing Authority office, 501 W. Sanford St., Suite 20. Applicants with physical disabilities needing assistance to apply can call 817-276-6722.
The Housing Choice Voucher program is a rental housing assistance program funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
For more information, visit www.arlingtonhousing.us.
Survey looks at police use of social media in Arlington
Researchers with the University of Texas at Arlington are conducting a study regarding the use of social media by law enforcement.
“The purpose of this research is to better understand City of Arlington residents’ views of the Arlington Police Department (APD) and its use of social media,” police said in a news release. “You will be asked questions related to your use of social media, your perception of APD, your current fear of crime, and your community/neighborhood involvement.”
Residents can participate by completing an “online, anonymous, and confidential questionnaire,” police said.
“You do not have to answer a question to advance to the next question,” police said. “You may skip questions and return to them if you wish. The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.”
Participants must be 18 years or older and be a resident of Arlington.
To join in the effort, go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/89DMWXP.