LOS ANGELES (CNS) — County officials will close waiting lists for public housing on Dec. 17, it was announced.

The Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles opened up the lists for 13 family and senior-only public housing sites this summer to give more people a chance to wait in line.

Authorities had planned to close the lists at year-end, but the response has been so strong that the county will only allow registrations up until 4 p.m. Dec. 17.

Families and seniors can choose to sign up for one or all of the 13 sites at nwww.hacola.org or by calling (626) 586-1845.

The wait is long. Right now, 22,627 people are already on the lists. The average wait time for seniors is two years and families wait even longer — an average of seven years.

Housing units for families are located in Long Beach, Lomita, East Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Los Angeles. Senior properties are in Long Beach, East Los Angeles, La Puente, Whittier, West Hollywood, Marina del Rey, Valencia, La Crescenta and Los Angeles.

Smoking is prohibited in the apartments and grounds of all the facilities, except for the South Bay Garden development, which has a designated smoking area.

Anyone who decides against accepted a unit when it is offered will have their name removed from all other waiting lists and will need to re-register if interested.