Affordable Housing Online is monitoring the federal government's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. As of March 13, 2020, Public Housing Agencies across the nation are closing their doors to the public. Most offices are still running and will communicate by phone, email, or mail. Some offices have drop boxes installed outside, so documents can still be hand-delivered. Visit the housing authority's website for the latest on its current operations, if one is available. If there is no information online, contact the housing authority directly. Due to a high volume of calls and modified office hours in most areas, expect a long wait time (days or weeks) for a response. To find your local PHA's contact info, browse by state here.

An extensive list of coronavirus resources for low-income households can be found here.

How long are affordable housing waiting lists?

Answer

The median Housing Choice Voucher waiting list length is 1.5 years, though the largest waiting lists have wait times longer than 7 years.

In the report, Housing Spotlight: The Long Wait for a Home, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) found that over half of all waiting lists were closed to new applicants and do not plan to reopen soon under current funding levels and policies.

For some populations, including the elderly and households with disabilities, wait times may be significantly shorter. For example, according to Affordable Housing Online data, 31% of housing choice voucher waiting lists featured a preference for elderly households.

More FAQs from Low Income Households

  • What has to be included in my household income?
  • Since Section 8 vouchers are so difficult to get, is there a place to find other housing programs that set rent based on your income?
  • The housing office I applied through told me I didn't qualify to receive assistance, and I don't know why. What could have made me ineligible?
  • Who qualifies for affordable housing assistance?
  • Is there any way I can receive priority placement on a waiting list?