FARMINGTON — The San Juan County Housing Authority is reopening its waiting list for subsidized housing after imposing a six month moratorium on new applications.

San Juan County Executive Officer Kim Carpenter said many families who were receiving assistance have dropped out of the program, so the county is opening the waiting list to make sure its assisting as many people as possible.

The housing authority suspended its waiting list in March because across-the-board, automatic budget cuts required by "sequestration" created uncertainty about the program's funding.

Faye Anderson, housing authority director, said there were several reasons why the number of people receiving assistance decreased in recent months. Some of the people got higher-paying jobs and no longer qualify for federal assistance, others died and some were evicted from their homes.

"We've had some success stories. Some families don't qualify for assistance anymore," she said. "Whenever a family losses assistance, we replace them with someone else."

There are 206 San Juan County families receiving monthly assistance. Combined, those families received between $76,000 and $88,000 per month, according to recent figures.

Anderson said its not clear how many additional families could soon be eligible for federal assistance, and when rent vouchers could be provided to new families.

The county housing authority hosts the federally-funded program operated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The federal agency recertifies families in the program each month and they receive a voucher to help pay their rent, so the value of the vouchers fluctuates every month.

Anderson said the San Juan County families in the program rent properties throughout the county and the three cities.

It's not clear how long people will be able to sign up for the waiting list.

To apply, adult family members have to provide proof of income and submit to a criminal background check.

For more information, please call the San Juan County Housing Authority at 505-327-5654.

Ryan Boetel covers crime for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and Follow him on Twitter @rboetel on Twitter.