Technical Difficulties: Rental Assistance Program Hits a Snag During Lottery Drawing

After several technical difficulties occurred and multiple numbers were pulled repeatedly (especially #839 for some reason), the first lottery on Jan. 6 for the Rental Assistance Program Round 2 was nullified.

The City re-booted the process and started over, it said. The second lottery took place on Jan. 7 and was more successful.

“We felt the first lottery was not fair and transparent due to technical difficulties,” said City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “So we nullified the results and redid the lottery.”

According to a message to applicants from the City, there were technical errors and residents couldn’t often hear the broadcast online.

Likewise, many complained that the same numbers were being pulled multiple times, meaning there were somehow multiple entries of the same numbers in the Jan. 6 lottery.

Many of those watching the proceedings were shocked and very disappointed.

“I formally request that the City of Chelsea submit the process again as it is notable on the live broadcast and on the list provided of winners that the calculation used was faulty – not providing an equal opportunity and fairness for us citizens in need,” wrote Villalba Alanis on the during the broadcast.

The lottery was re-done on Jan. 7, and the results then seemed to be much more consistent and fair.

This is the second Rental Assistance program round, and those picked in the lottery access funds to help pay rent due to COVID-19 loss of income. The first round took place last year and went off without a hitch.

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