Preferences for Federal Housing Programs

PHAs and other affordable housing owners maintain waiting lists for Public Housing, Project Based Section 8 Rental Assistance, Section 515 and Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. Most have preferences to serve special populations, and people who meet these criteria move up the waiting list more quickly. Common preferences are for veterans, homeless people, or local area residents. One of the more common preferences is for disabled renters. When applying for any affordable housing program, you should check the application form or ask the housing provider if there is a preference for disabled tenants and make sure to mark that. Many PHAs also have preferences for applicants that are employed. However, disabled persons that are unable to work still qualify for this “working preference” and should select that as well on their housing applications. You may meet more  than one preference. The more preferences you meet the more  quickly you will move up the waiting list.

For more information about these programs, including how to apply, click the following links:


For information on how to apply to the Section 515 program, use the search bar at the top of any of Affordable Housing Online’s pages to search for your city, county, or state. Look at the communities shown with the “Section 515” program tag in the gray box, and click the property name to learn more. You may call the toll free phone number provided on the page or submit the online information request form. If these methods of contact are not available on the community’s page, visit the property for more information.