How to apply for the open New York City Section 8 waiting list - Affordable Housing Online

How to apply for the open New York City Section 8 waiting list

By on May 17th, 2021

Tagged As: Affordable Housing News, Vouchers, Waiting List Openings

Photo by Andreas Wulff on:

If you have been waiting for a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) waiting list to open for New York City, NY, then wait no longer. The New York State Homes and Community Renewal Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list opened for applications today, May 17, 2021, and will stay open until May 28, 2021 at 11:59 pm ET.

Who manages the waiting list?

Although not part of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) is the State of New York’s housing authority, and partners with local agencies to manage the HCV program in most areas. HCR directly manages the HCV program for New York City, which includes the five boroughs:

  • The Bronx (Bronx County, New York)
  • Brooklyn (Kings County, New York)
  • Manhattan (New York County, New York)
  • Queens (Queens County, New York)
  • Staten Island (Richmond County, New York)

Who qualifies for the waiting list?

Qualified applicants/households must:

  • Be 18 years or older or an emancipated minor, as defined by New York State law; and
  • Meet immigration requirements. This means the Head of Household, or at least one member of the applicant’s household, is a U.S. citizen, a legal permanent resident, or has another eligible immigration status; and
  • Pass a criminal history check, which will be completed on all household members 18 years old and older at the time of eligibility determination (when you get to the top of the waiting list); and
  • Meet the income guidelines set by HUD:
Household SizeIncome Limit

Applicants may also qualify for one of the preferences for this waiting list. This means that households meeting preference requirements will be placed toward the front of the waiting list, after being picked in the lottery.

This waiting list has the following preferences:

  • Households defined as Homeless.
  • Households identified as Elderly and/or Disabled (as defined by HUD).
  • Families with Dependent Children.

If you claim a preference on your application, be prepared to have documentation to back up your claim.

For instance, if you are elderly, a birth certificate will prove your age. If you are disabled, current proof of receiving social security disability (SSD) or supplemental security income (SSI) will be needed. If you claim a preference and cannot submit documentation to back up your claim, you will be considered totally ineligible.

Applying for this waiting list does not guarantee a spot on the waiting list. A total of 15,000 applicants will be placed on NYSCHR’s waiting list by random lottery, by order of preferences. 

According to NYSCHR’s Frequently Asked Question webpage, a head of household cannot submit more than one application, but a different head of household can submit another application for a different household composition. As an example:


A daughter is applying to live with her baby and her mother:

The mother has applied as head of household with family composition being herself, and her 22 year old daughter. 

The 22 year old daughter can make a separate application and apply as the head of household for herself and her mother.

Where can I live?

Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers managed by HCR must be used in any of the five boroughs of New York City, New York (which includes the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island).

You do not need to live in New York City, NY to apply; but if you don’t, you must move there and live there for at least 12 months after receiving a Housing Choice Voucher.

How to apply to the waiting list

Applications can only be submitted through the online portal on the HCR website.

To apply during the opening period, follow the instructions here.

When you apply, make sure you have the following information for the entire household:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number or Taxpayer ID for at least one member of the household
  • Current Household Income (gross)
  • Number of Household Members

If you need help applying due to disability or language barriers, you can make a reasonable accommodation request by calling (833) 990-4001, or TTY (833) 990-4002.

For more information

CHR has more information listed on their Frequently Asked Questions webpage found here.

Published by

Robin Lovelace

Robin Lovelace, Affordable Housing Online's Housing Policy Specialist, is a retired Housing Choice Voucher Policy Analyst. She worked for 17 years in various roles for housing authorities in the State of Indiana. Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Robin also writes fiction and has been published in various literary magazines. Her latest novella, Savonne, Not Vonny, won the 2019 Etchings Press Prize and in October of 2021, her short story Uncle, won the Marguerite McGlinn Prize for fiction.