The Council's phone lines were jammed with over 2,000 calls Tuesday. Combined with e-mails and faxes, the Met Council heard from 4,400 people by the end of the day, when it stopped accepting new application requests.
The response underscores the increasing demand for affordable housing and the inability of governments to come close to meeting that demand with subsidized housing.
The Met Council is not the only local body in this predicament. St. Paul opened its Section 8 waiting list last week for the first time since 2002. Minneapolis plans to open its list later this spring.
The Section 8 program gives low-income people vouchers to rent homes or apartments from private landlords.
Jon Gutzman heads St. Paul's Public Housing agency and is the president of a national public housing organization. MPR's All Things Considered host Tom Crann spoke with Gutzman about the Section 8 program.