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.

Is there a universal nationwide waiting list for Section 8 and Public Housing?


There is no universal nationwide waiting list for any affordable housing program.

Section 8 and Public Housing waiting lists are managed by Public Housing Authorities, which serve a specific jurisdiction at the local level, whether it is on a city or county-wide basis. There are very few housing authorities that manage a waiting list for an entire state, and if they do, there tends to be a separate waiting list for each county. The only single state-wide Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list we are aware of is the Massachusetts Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Centralized Waiting List; but not all housing authorities in the state are participants and manage their own waiting list instead.

You can find information on how to apply to open Section 8 waiting lists nationwide here, and open Public Housing waiting lists here.

More FAQs from Low Income Households

  • Can I smoke in my apartment?
  • The Section 8 and Public Housing waiting lists in my area are closed. Are there other affordable housing programs?