Memphis Housing Authority
700 Adams Avenue
Memphis, Shelby County, TN


Section 8 Waiting List Status: Closed

The Memphis Housing Authority (MHA) Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list is currently closed. It was last open in 2013. There is no notice of when this waiting list will reopen.

In 2013, 10,000 qualified applicants were placed onto the waiting list by random lottery.

As of February 2014, there are more than 10,000 households currently on the waiting list.

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.

Resident Characteristics
as of June 30, 2015

Memphis Housing Authority operates 2,974 affordable units across its public housing portfolio.

Bedroom Sizes of Public Housing Units

The bedroom sizes of Memphis Housing Authority public housing units range from studio apartments to 4 bedroom apartments. The housing authority’s public housing inventory includes: 18% studio apartments, 33% 1 bedroom apartments, 24% 2 bedroom apartments, 20% 3 bedroom apartments and 5% 4 bedroom apartments.

Vacancies in Public Housing Portfolio

As of Memphis Housing Authority’s most recent Resident Characteristics Report (June 30, 2015), the 16-month average number of units occupied was 2,885 out of a total 2,974 rental units. This represents a 16-month average vacany rate of 2.99%.

Family Type

Of the 2,492 households who reported head of household data in the housing authority’s most recent RCR report, 514 (20.63%) were elderly, 1,978 (79.37%) were non-elderly, 1250 (50.16%) were disabled, 1,062 (42.62%) contained children and 1,026 (41.17%) 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 Memphis Housing Authority's public housing developments is $50.

The average tenant rent contribution for Memphis Housing Authority’s public housing developments is $312.

The average tenant contribution for elderly residents residing in all properties across the housing authority’s public housing portfolio is $162. The average rent payment for disabled residents is $183. The average TTP for non-elderly, non-disabled renters in the housing authority’s public housing units is $365. Households headed by females had a total tenant payment of $235.

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 Memphis Housing Authority portfolio, 98% of households identified as Black, 1% identified as White, and 1% 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 Memphis Housing Authority properties, 1,998 were Extremely Low Income, 643 were Very Low Income, 113 were Low Income and 15 were Above Low Income.

The average annual income of public housing residents living in Memphis Housing Authority properties is $11,435. Of all public housing residents, 2% have no income and 5% earn more than $25,000 while 93% 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 Memphis Housing Authority public housing 27% have wage income, 16% have welfare income, 63% have SSI/SS/Pension income, 18% 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 2,886 households containing 5,702 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 2.

Across all units operated by the housing authority, 42.62% of households included children. Across all household members in Memphis Housing Authority public houins units 12.6% are aged zero to five and 28.8% are aged 6 to 17.

16.3% of all residents across the housing authority were age 62 or older and are considered seniors while 42.3% 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 Memphis Housing Authority public housing communities. 25.57% of all families residing in public housing have lived there for less than 1 year, 11.88% have lived in public housing for 1 to 2 years while 62.55% have lived in public housing for more than 2 years.

Assisted Unit Distribution What is Housing Assistance?

The Memphis Housing Authority administers both a public housing and Section 8 housing voucher program. The housing authority owns and manages 48 projects which contain 2,703 affordable rental units. It also administers 6,809 Section 8 housing vouchers.

According to HUD, Memphis 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 Memphis Housing Authority between Public Housing Units (28%) and Section 8 Housing Vouchers (72%) to that of all housing authorities in Tennessee, Memphis 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 Tennessee.

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, Memphis Housing Authority scored an average of 81 points as of the last set of publicly available data. The housing authority had a high score of 93 in 2009 and a low score of 67 in 2001. The average SEMAP Score for Housing Authorities in Tennessee is 81.92.

Memphis Housing Authority has an average score that is less than the average Tennessee 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.

Memphis Housing Authority manages 31 rental properties which, as of the last set of publicly available data, have an average inspection score of 69. The scores for properties managed by Memphis Housing Authority range from a high of 99 to a low of 0.

The highest scoring property in the Memphis Housing Authority portfolio is Latham Terrace and the lowest scoring property is Alabama Plaza.

To be a passing score a public housing property must have a score of 60 or more. 77% of properties managed by Memphis 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 Memphis Housing Authority.

Year Date Approved Plan PDF Document
2012 5/24/12 Plan
2011 6/29/11 Plan
2010 1/26/11 Plan
2009 10/27/09 Plan
2008 7/10/08 Plan
2007 5/24/07 Plan
2006 5/5/06 Plan
2005 6/10/05 Plan
2004 6/9/04 Plan
2003 4/30/03 Plan
2002 1/5/03 Plan
2001 6/27/01 Plan
2000 11/14/00 Plan