Frequently Asked Emergency Questions

Does HUD help in emergency cases for housing?

No, HUD affordable housing programs are not emergency housing programs, and due to high demand, it is not rare to be on a waiting list for several years.

Generally, large metropolitan areas have long waiting lists, while lower populated areas have shorter waiting lists. There are housing authorities and apartment communities with very short waiting lists, but these opportunities are very rare, and applicants must still go through an approval process.

If you are in need of emergency housing, visit HUD's website here. Click on the state you are living in, and then click the "Find Homeless Resources" link under the "I Want to" section. Also, ome housing authorities participate in the HUD Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, which assists persons who would be homeless without help from this program. Please visit HUD's HPRP website for more information.

If you need to find an apartment quickly, an affordable apartment community's waiting list is usually shorter than a Section 8 or Public Housing waiting list (if there is one at all). However, the waiting list may still be many months to years long, and applicants must go through an approval process. You can search for an affordable apartment in your area here. The pages for many communities listed on Affordable Housing Online include a way to directly contact the property for more information. 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.


My income will be lower after I move. Would I apply using my current income, or the income I will receive after moving?

Even if you are expecting an income change in the future, you must report the total gross income you are currently receiving.


If placed onto a waiting list, you must report any changes to your pre-application, such as contact and income information. This helps the office determine eligibility once your name reaches the top of the list.

So, once your income changes, you must immediately report that change to the housing office you applied through. Contact the office you applied through to find out how to update application information. You can search our website for housing authority and apartment community contact information.


Does HUD help if you are homeless or living in a shelter?

Yes, there are housing programs and policies in place that help homeless persons and persons living in a shelter receive housing assistance.

Some housing authorities participate in the HUD Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, which assists persons who would be homeless without help from this program. Please visit HUD's HPRP website for more information.

Also, many waiting lists have preferences that place qualified applicants higher on the waiting list than general applicants. Persons living in a shelter and homeless persons is a preference that may be found on an application. The specific qualifications vary depending on the housing authority or apartment community offering this preference. More information about preferences can be found here.