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Stampede for housing vouchers

DALLAS, July 14 (UPI) -- Thousands of people seeking housing assistance gathered at a field house in Dallas Thursday morning and stampeded when the gates opened, rescue workers said.

Officials said at least five people were injured, KXAS-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth, reported. One of the injured was a pregnant woman who fell down and was trampled.

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Dallas County Health and Human Services were taking applications for the federal Section Eight program for the first time in two years. They asked applicants to come to the field house at the Jesse Owens Memorial Complex, a school athletic facility.

Officials said they expected 15,000 people to apply by the end of the day. A huge crowd had gathered by 5:30 a.m.

Under the Section Eight program, aid recipients live in private rental housing with the government paying a percentage of their rent based on their income. Most agencies have years-long waiting lists.

Applicants who filed Thursday could wait as long as two years for acceptance.

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