What Do I Do After Applying to a Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance Apartment?

  1. Wait for your application to be processed.
  2. Confirm your waiting list status.
  3. Estimate your wait time.
  4. Stay in contact with the housing office.
  5. Move into offered unit.

Step 1: Wait for your application to be processed.

  • Once your application has been submitted, it usually takes a week or more to process.
    • This depends on the resources available to review applications.
      • Online applications tend to be processed more quickly than paper applications.
    • You can ask the property manager how long it usually takes to process applications.

Step 2: Confirm your waiting list status.

  • Most PBRA properties have a waiting list.
    • If there is not a waiting list, you will be informed of your eligibility after your application is processed.
    • If there is a waiting list, the property manager will usually confirm your status.
  • If placed on the waiting list, keep a record of it, along with any other relevant information (including housing office, login credentials, a confirmation number, and your position on the waiting list).
  • If there is no waiting list, skip to "Part 5. Move into offered unit."

Step 3: Estimate your wait time.

  • If you are placed on a waiting list, the wait time for PBRA apartments can be from many months to years long.
  • Contact the property manager and ask if they can estimate the current length of the waiting list.

Step 4: Stay in contact with the housing office.

  • Find out how to periodically check your waiting list status with an office.
    • Usually, this will either be done online, by phone, or at the office. Some offices are unable to provide your specific position on the waiting list, but will confirm if you are still on the waiting list.
  • If any of your application information changes (such as contact information, income, and household members), contact the housing office immediately.
    • In the case that the office sends a notice that does not get returned, or if application information is out of date, your application may be terminated from the waiting list. Contact the office you applied through to find out how to officially update application information.
  • Reply immediately to notices sent to you that require a response.
    • Housing offices periodically send notices to all persons on the waiting list, asking if they would like to remain on the waiting list. Applicants who do not respond within the given time frame will be terminated from the waiting list. This is known as purging, and is done to process applicants as efficiently as possible. Follow the specific instructions on the notice, or your application may be terminated.
  • Don’t forget that if you are applying online, housing offices will usually contact you using the email address you used to apply.
    • If you don’t receive the email or don’t have access when they send a correspondence, you may be removed from the waiting list. Always make sure you are using an email address you get mail at regularly and know you will have access to years from now.

Step 5: Move into offered unit.

  • After being approved for the Project-Based Section 8 program, you will be able to move into the unit the housing authority has approved for you.
    • You will not be able to move from this unit and keep the rental assistance.
  • PBRA tenants must be income certified each year.
    • If your income goes up, your Total Tenant Payment (TTP) may increase and if your income exceeds the income limits for the program, you may have to move.