New Jersey's federally subsidized Section 8 voucher program is now accepting pre-applications online.

The state Department of Community Affairs, which administers the program, said 20,000 people will be selected through a lottery system and placed on the waitlist if they meet income requirements. Vouchers will be awarded as they become available.

Armed Forces veterans, homeless individuals, domestic violence survivors, local residents or those with disabilities will be given priority placement on the waitlist.

Through the program, low-income individuals or families are asked to spend about a third of their paychecks on housing expenses. The rest is paid through direct rent subsidies to landlords. Income limits for applicants vary by county and are available here.

The annual point-in-time count of the state’s homeless population will take place on Jan. 24 and 25. State officials say homeless individuals will also be encouraged to submit pre-applications and will be provided help with the process.

“The Murphy administration is committed to making housing affordable to New Jerseyans of all walks of life,” Lt. Gov. and DCA Commissioner Sheila Oliver said in a press release. “We are always proud to partner with the federal government on Section 8 and other programs focused on providing stable housing, which is so fundamental to people’s quality of life.”

A resident must be at least 18 years old and have an email address to apply . Those who need assistance applying can call 609-292-4080 or email customer.service@dca.nj.gov.

Applications opened at 9 a.m. Tuesday at WaitlistCheck.com/NJ559. They’ll close at 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3.