How To Apply For Section 8 Waiting List?

Wondering How To Apply For Section 8 Waiting List in seconds? This is the right place for you. 

The Housing Choice Voucher is a program that helps millions of Americans access affordable, safe, and clean housing. However, countless others remain on a waiting list for every household assigned a housing voucher. There is often a long wait for rental assistance, though some applicants receive special treatment and are bumped to the top of the list.

Before we dive into How To Apply For Section 8 Waiting List, let’s first understand what Section 8 housing programs are and how they assist communities.

Let’s get started. 

What Is Section 8 Housing?

The 1937 Housing Act authorized the Section 8 Housing program. The program aims to provide safe and sanitary shelter to low-income, disabled, and elderly individuals. This is accomplished through the use of Housing Choice Vouchers.

A voucher is a portable subsidy that enables low-income families to reduce their monthly rent. The program is overseen and funded by HUD, but vouchers are administered by local public housing agencies.

The PHA determines eligibility based on family size and gross annual income. The amount of your gross annual income cannot exceed 50% of the area’s median income. According to law, 75% of vouchers must go to families below 30% of the area’s median income.

How Does Section 8 Work?

How Does Section 8 Work

Housing Choice Voucher Programs provide housing assistance through Section 8 vouchers to low-income families. Section 8 vouchers allow families to pay for their housing. Public housing agencies (PHAs) administer vouchers based on household income and family size, and recipients can choose any rental housing that meets program criteria.

You can find your local PHA to apply for a Section 8 voucher and learn more about how they work by visiting the HUD website.

The following is a general description of the Section 8 housing program:

  • A Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher application is submitted by the individual/household.
  • The applicant will likely be placed on a waiting list for more than one to two years.
  • Additionally, the applicant can accept project-based vouchers during this period.
  • An applicant approved for a tenant-based voucher can begin looking for an apartment or house.
  • A Section 8 voucher can only be used at properties that accept Section 8 vouchers and meet Section 8 requirements, which include a physical inspection.
  • The PHA will pay a portion of the rent once the property is approved.
  • As long as the applicant is approved for project-based housing vouchers, a PHA can refer him or her to a property owner who has a vacant unit for project-based housing.
  • A portion of the rent will be paid on behalf of the applicant if the applicant is accepted by the property owner and screened.

What Is The Purpose of Section 8 Waiting List?

Section 8 housing assistance starts with a preliminary application outlining basic information about your household. According to the information you provide, the PHA will decide whether you meet the eligibility requirements for the Section 8 Waiting List. 

Currently, there are not enough Section 8 housing units to accommodate everyone who applies. Applicants are usually placed on a Section 8 Waiting List until they can rent housing.

A household’s time on the waitlist varies based on a number of factors, and some household characteristics may be prioritized over others. Some applicants may remain on the PHA Section 8 waiting list for years before finally receiving their housing choice voucher.

So many volunteers have expressed frustration at having to turn people away. A recent report found that only 25% of Section 8 applicants received the housing assistance they needed. To improve their chances of finding housing, many applicants apply with several PHAs to be on several waiting lists simultaneously.

Eligibility Requirements For Section 8 Housing Voucher

Eligibility Requirements For Section 8 Housing Voucher

The Income Limit

To qualify for Section 8, people must meet income limits determined by HUD annually. The income limits are determined by the median income for each region. There are three tiers of income limits:

Income LevelPercentage of Area’s Median Income
Extremely low income30%
Very low income50%
Moderately low income80%

Citizenship Status

Section 8 eligibility is restricted to U.S. citizens and noncitizens who qualify for certain immigrant categories. To qualify for Section 8, you and every household member must sign a certification form.

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • An alien eligible for citizenship, or
  • Refusing to claim eligibility

As long as a declaration is made, HUD standards for citizenship verification can be met. Your PHA may ask for additional documentation, including:

  • A valid U.S. passport
  • The resident alien card(s)
  • The registration card(s)
  • The social security card(s)

Applicants may also be required to sign a declaration attesting to their immigration statuses, provide proof from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, or complete a consent form.

Family Status

As part of Section 8, applicants must also meet HUD’s definition of a family. 

  • Being a parent
  • Have at least one 62-year-old family member
  • Have a disabled family member
  • Displaced for an eligible reason from their home
  • A family member who was receiving Section 8 moved out, and he now lives alone
  • Section 8 Housing For Single Mothers and Individuals, offers subsidized rental housing regardless of parental status.

Eviction History

A good rental history is generally required for Section 8 consideration. A person evicted from a property due to drug-related or criminal activity is ineligible for HUD housing. The program can also disqualify those who have been convicted of producing methamphetamine inside subsidized housing.

How To Apply For Section 8 Waiting List?

First, you need to apply for the Section 8 housing voucher program in order to be placed on the Section 8 Waiting List. To apply for a Section 8 housing voucher, follow these steps:

  • Locate the public housing agency in your area. You can visit the U.S. HUD website to locate your local Public Housing Agency. The PHAs are categorized by city, state, and zip code on a website that includes all of their contact information.
  • Verify that you meet the program requirements for Housing Choice Vouchers. A PHA can assist in determining eligibility. The household income must be under 50 percent of the area median income, and the applicant must be 18 years old. The size of the family also affects eligibility.
  • Ensure you are aware of any restrictions or preferences of the local PHA. A local PHA may give preference to the elderly, people with disabilities, the homeless, and residents when it comes to receiving assistance. If you fall under the PHA’s list of priority applicants, let them know. Otherwise, your waitlist time might be extended.
  • Apply for a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher. Housing Choice Vouchers can be applied for free online, by mail, or at a local housing authority based on the PHA.
  • Ensure that all required information is filled out on the application. A typical application will ask applicants for such information as their name, their date of birth, their Social Security Number, their gross income, their mailing addresses, their email addresses, their housing history, their criminal history, and their phone numbers, among others. Make sure you follow all instructions given by the housing authority to ensure smooth application processing.
  • The application must be submitted. The PHA requires that you submit the full application and turn it in by the due date, or your application may be rejected.
  • The PHA must process the application, which can take several months. Nevertheless, after the application has been processed, the applicant can either be placed on the waiting list or rejected by mail, or an online portal will be available for access.

How To Track Your Section 8 Waiting List Status?

How To Track Your Section 8 Waiting List Status

If you qualify for Section 8 rental assistance and are placed on a Section 8 Waiting List, call your local housing authority every 2-3 months to make sure you’re still on it. Alternatively, you can contact your local HUD office for the same information.

It is also possible to check your status online. You can track the status of your online application through HUD’s Wait List Check functionality. Visit and enter your name, year of birth, and Social Security number unless you have already created an account.

It can be stressful and frustrating to wait during the Section 8 waiting period. Once you figure out how to check your Section 8 Waiting List position, your stress level should decrease. Be sure to record all correspondence you receive from PHAs and HUDs. There will be protection in case there is a clerical error that removes you from the waiting list.

Here are a few of our steps.

Stay Connected With Local PHA

Section 8 waiting list positions can be unraveled by your local Public Housing Authority (PHA). A PHA manages the Section 8 program in each city or county. Firstly, you’ll want to find out who your local PHA is. You can do this by visiting the official website of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or by searching the internet using your location’s name, followed by “housing authority.”

Enter Your Information

Once you have the PHA’s contact information, take a deep breath and prepare to contact or visit them. When you contact them, be prepared to provide the PHA representative with a few crucial details. Your full name, any application or reference number, and possibly other identifying information will be needed.

Check Your Status

There comes a time when the truth will be revealed. A PHA representative should be able to politely and patiently tell you the status of your application, including your position on the waiting list. Their office receives countless inquiries daily, so being courteous can ensure they provide the best assistance possible.

Ensure Follow-up

The PHA representative will give you an affirmative answer, so that’s great! Don’t give up if they don’t respond or if you encounter any issues or discrepancies with the information you receive. You can politely ask for clarification or inquire about the next steps in the process. Following up and making sure your application is given the attention it needs will show your dedication.

Keep Your Records Up-To-Date

The PHA should be kept in regular communication throughout the waiting period. If your contact information changes—such as a new phone number or address—please let the PHA know right away. Your application will be less likely to experience delays or problems if it is kept current.

The waiting lists can be lengthy, but patience and persistence are key. Make sure your information is up-to-date, and stay in touch with the PHA so you’re ready when your affordable housing opportunity arises.

What To Do While You’re On The Section 8 Waiting List?

The “Section 8 Waiting List” list doesn’t necessarily require you to be passive. You can still participate actively in the application process by doing these things.

  • Be sure to record every written communication between you and your PHA, as well as any phone calls. Government agencies can make mistakes. Documenting the process may prove critical if there is a misunderstanding or clerical error.
  • Keep in mind that you should also be responsive and communicate promptly. You should respond promptly to any correspondence you receive from HUD or your PHA to let them know you are still interested and enthusiastic about Section 8.
  • Any changes to your household or income that could affect your position on the Section 8 Waiting List should be reported to your local housing authority as soon as possible. In case of a baby, disability, or a change in income, the PHA will take the changes into consideration.
  • Additionally, you can apply with more than one PHA at the same time. If you are on more lists, you have a better chance of receiving a housing choice voucher.
  • You might want to look for Section 8 support and discussion groups online. There are several groups on social media that you can join. There are thousands of people going through similar situations across the country, and it may be helpful to connect with them to share ideas and experiences.
  • The most important thing to remember while on a Section 8 waiting list is to be patient. You may have to wait a long time. 

Tenant’s Responsibilities For Section 8 Housing

Tenant’s Responsibilities For Section 8 Housing

When a PHA approves a family’s home, the family and landlord sign a one-year lease. A housing assistance payment contract is signed between the PHA and the landlord during this time period. All parties involved in the Housing Choice (Section 8) Voucher Program have responsibilities. When applying for financial assistance and participating in the program, it’s important to understand these roles.

Tenant’s Obligations

 A family signs a one-year lease with the landlord when they select an approved housing unit. The landlord can ask for any security deposit from the tenant. In the first year after moving in, the landlord may offer a year-long lease or allow the family to continue renting month-to-month.

A tenant must comply with the lease agreement and program requirements, pay rent on time, keep the house in good condition, and immediately notify the PHA of any changes.

Section 8 houses for rent with no deposit near me adhere to program regulations, which prohibit family members from involvement in drug-related or violent crimes, fraud, bribery, or other criminal activities.

Landlord’s Obligations:

The landlord provides a family with clean, safe, and decent housing at a reasonable price. Housing quality standards (HQS) must be met and maintained by the landlord while he is receiving voucher payments. Additionally, they must comply with the PHA’s contract for housing assistance payments and the lease agreement.

Housing Authority’s Obligations

In this case, the PHA will assist the family with the housing voucher. Further, the PHA pays the landlord with vouchers under a housing assistance payment contract.  PHAs have the right to stop housing assistance payments if landlords do not comply with the lease and housing assistance contract requirements. As part of its annual review of family income and composition, the PHA inspects each home at least once a year to ensure it continues to meet minimum home quality standards.

Role of HUD: 

Local PHAs are able to make payments for housing assistance through HUD funds. HUD also pays the PHA a fee to administer the program. Funds will be available for PHAs to apply for more housing vouchers when they become available. HUD reviews applications, and funds are awarded competitively. Furthermore, HUD oversees the administration of the PHA program to ensure compliance with the rules.


How Do I Get Section 8 Housing Immediately?

You can apply for emergency housing assistance by contacting your local Public Housing Agency. Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs) are provided to local PHAs to help homeless families or families fleeing situations involving domestic violence, dating violence, human trafficking, sexual assault, or stalking.

What is My Section 8 Waiting List Number?

You can find out your Section 8 waiting list number by calling your public housing agency. Also, you may be able to check your waiting list position or update your application information online.

Which State Has The Longest Section 8 Waiting List?

Hawaii had an average waiting period of 62 months, much longer than the national average of 19 months. In California, the waiting period was 55 months. The waiting periods in Nevada, Oregon, and Florida were also protracted, all exceeding 45 months.


The Section 8 Waiting List can be frustrating, but if your household falls into one of the special categories, you may be eligible for priority consideration. You can learn more about how your case might be considered by your local public housing authority if you think any of these conditions apply.