Rochester Housing Authority
675 West Main Street
Rochester, Monroe County, NY


Section 8 Waiting List Status: Closed

The Rochester Housing Authority (RHA) Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list is currently closed. There is no notice of when it was last open, or when it will reopen.

For more information, visit the RHA website, or call the RHA at (585) 697-3602.

Did you know that you can apply for Section 8 anywhere in the country? If your local Section 8 waiting list is closed, you can apply to programs elsewhere. See all open waiting lists across the country on our Waiting Lists page.

Public Housing Waiting List Statuses

Family Senior Other

The Rochester Housing Authority is currently accepting public housing waiting list applications for families, senior/disabled individuals, and for disabled individuals, under the age of 50.

This housing authority offers, four apartment communities for disabled individuals under the age of 50, seven apartment communities for individuals that are senior/disabled, and eight family communities, all are located throughout Rochester. For more information about the different communities, please follow this link.

To apply for public housing, please follow this link, to download, print, and complete an application. 

Once the application has been completed, it must be mailed to: 270 Lake Ave., Suite 300, rochester, NY 14608. After your application has been processed, you will receive a letter confirming the receipt of your application.

This housing authority does have a preference that may improve your spot on the waiting list as: veteran, or homeless.

More information can be found by visiting the housing authority website at, or they can be reached with any questions you may have by calling 585-697-7180, during normal office hours.

Resident Characteristics
as of June 30, 2015

Rochester Housing Authority operates 2,528 affordable units across its public housing portfolio.

Bedroom Sizes of Public Housing Units

The bedroom sizes of Rochester Housing Authority public housing units range from studio apartments to 4 bedroom apartments. The housing authority’s public housing inventory includes: 4% studio apartments, 52% 1 bedroom apartments, 17% 2 bedroom apartments, 20% 3 bedroom apartments and 6% 4 bedroom apartments.

Vacancies in Public Housing Portfolio

As of Rochester Housing Authority’s most recent Resident Characteristics Report (June 30, 2015), the 16-month average number of units occupied was 2,414 out of a total 2,528 rental units. This represents a 16-month average vacany rate of 4.51%.

Family Type

Of the 1,914 households who reported head of household data in the housing authority’s most recent RCR report, 374 (19.54%) were elderly, 1,540 (80.46%) were non-elderly, 1068 (55.8%) were disabled, 781 (40.8%) contained children and 733 (38.3%) were headed by a female.

Tenant Contributions to Rent

Residents of public housing pay rent based on their income. The rent contribution of the tenant is called the Total Tenant Payment (TTP). The TTP is generally 30% of a residents income with a $25 (National minimum) to $50 (some PHA’s) minimum rent. Based on the information in the most recent Resident Characteristics Report (June 30, 2015) the minimum rent in Rochester Housing Authority's public housing developments is $50.

The average tenant rent contribution for Rochester Housing Authority’s public housing developments is $410.

The average tenant contribution for elderly residents residing in all properties across the housing authority’s public housing portfolio is $281. The average rent payment for disabled residents is $292. The average TTP for non-elderly, non-disabled renters in the housing authority’s public housing units is $585. Households headed by females had a total tenant payment of $428.

Race and Ethnicity

The HUD Resident Characteristics Report provides updated Head of Household race and ethnicity data at the housing authority and property level. Across all properties in the Rochester Housing Authority portfolio, 67% of households identified as Black, 32% identified as White, and 23% identified as Hispanic or Latino.

Income of Public Housing Residents

HUD divides household income into four categories: Extremely Low Income (ELI) for households earning less than 30% of the median, Very Low Income (VLI) for households earning between 30% and 50% of the median, Low Income (LI) for households earning between 50% and 80% of the median and Above Low Income for households earning 81% of the median and over.

Of the public housing residents residing in Rochester Housing Authority properties, 1,651 were Extremely Low Income, 542 were Very Low Income, 177 were Low Income and 39 were Above Low Income.

The average annual income of public housing residents living in Rochester Housing Authority properties is $15,417. Of all public housing residents, 1% have no income and 13% earn more than $25,000 while 86% have incomes that fall between $0 and $25,000.

The HUD RCR data includes source of income information as well. The data includes five categories of family income: wage income, welfare income, SSI/SS/Pension income, other income and no income. Some families receive income in multiple categories.

Among families residing in Rochester Housing Authority public housing 31% have wage income, 36% have welfare income, 70% have SSI/SS/Pension income, 24% have other income and 1% have no income.

Household Information of Public Housing Residents

As of the last HUD RCR report (June 30, 2015), there were a total of 2,413 households containing 4,497 total persons residing in the housing authority’s public housing properties. The average household size across all properties in the housing authority’s public housing portfolio was 1.9.

Across all units operated by the housing authority, 40.8% of households included children. Across all household members in Rochester Housing Authority public houins units 10.7% are aged zero to five and 23.5% are aged 6 to 17.

20.5% of all residents across the housing authority were age 62 or older and are considered seniors while 45.3% of all residents were aged 18 to 61.

Length of Stay at Public Housing Properties

The HUD RCR report includes length of stay data for Rochester Housing Authority public housing communities. 16.37% of all families residing in public housing have lived there for less than 1 year, 9.49% have lived in public housing for 1 to 2 years while 74.14% have lived in public housing for more than 2 years.

Assisted Unit Distribution What is Housing Assistance?

The Rochester Housing Authority administers both a public housing and Section 8 housing voucher program. The housing authority owns and manages 23 projects which contain 2,514 affordable rental units. It also administers 8,222 Section 8 housing vouchers.

According to HUD, Rochester Housing Authority is determined to be a Large public housing authority, meaning it manages between 1,250 - 9,999 public housing units. Also according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the housing authority is designated as Large, meaning it administers 1,250 - 9,999 Section 8 vouchers.

Comparing the housing assistance distribution of Rochester Housing Authority between Public Housing Units (23%) and Section 8 Housing Vouchers (77%) to that of all housing authorities in New York, Rochester Housing Authority has a smaller proportion of public housing units than the average housing authority. The housing authority’s proportion of Section 8 vouchers under management is larger than the average housing authority in New York.

Source United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (, 2014)

SEMAP Performance What are SEMAP Scores?

Each year HUD reviews and scores the housing authority’s Section 8 program management based on 14 different criteria. This score is a reflection of how well the housing authority manages the Section 8 waiting list, the physical quality of housing assisted with Section 8 and the financial management of the program.

From 2001 to 2009, Rochester Housing Authority scored an average of 97 points as of the last set of publicly available data. The housing authority had a high score of 100 in 2003 and a low score of 85 in 2002. The average SEMAP Score for Housing Authorities in New York is 76.39.

Rochester Housing Authority has an average score that is more than the average New York housing authority. Higher SEMAP scores indicate more effective financial management, a smoother waiting list process and higher quality physical conditions at assisted properties.

Source President's Open Government Directive (, 2012)

Latest Public Housing Inspection Scores What are REAC Scores?

Every public housing project is inspected every one to three years by HUD.

Rochester Housing Authority manages 16 rental properties which, as of the last set of publicly available data, have an average inspection score of 76. The scores for properties managed by Rochester Housing Authority range from a high of 93 to a low of 55.

The highest scoring property in the Rochester Housing Authority portfolio is Luther/capsule/bronson and the lowest scoring property is Scattered Sites.

To be a passing score a public housing property must have a score of 60 or more. 94% of properties managed by Rochester Housing Authority have a passing score.

Source United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (, 2014)

Housing Authority Annual and 5 Year Plans

Public housing agencies, also called public housing authorities, which receive funding from HUD, are required to submit and receive approval from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development of both an Annual Plan and a 5 Year Plan. These plans establish each housing authority’s policies, strategies, programs and operations for meeting the housing needs of persons within their target area.

The housing authority plans include specific details about the cost of renovations to real estate (also known as capital improvements), changes to Section 8 HCV policies, planned redevelopment of public housing projects and other major administrative changes.

Following are the HUD-approved public housing agency plans for Rochester Housing Authority.

Year Date Approved Plan PDF Document
2012 9/18/12 Plan
2011 8/4/11 Plan
2010 8/26/10 Plan
2009 7/22/09 Plan
2008 8/13/08 Plan
2007 9/28/07 Plan
2006 9/27/06 Plan
2005 10/6/05 Plan
2004 9/1/04 Plan
2003 8/29/03 Plan
2002 10/10/02 Plan
2001 10/1/01 Plan
2000 8/2/00 Plan