Open Section 8 Waiting Lists in Virginia

Find applications for 7 open Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting lists in Virginia. There are 66 housing authorities with voucher programs serving about 1,102,545 renter households in Virginia. Among these, 21.2 percent of housing authorities run larger voucher programs serving thousands of renters. Over the last three years, there have been 48 waiting lists open in Virginia.

View Virginia Housing Authorities by the Cities They Serve

Virginia Housing Authorities

Abingdon Redevelopment And Housing Authority

Abingdon Redevelopment And Housing Authority serves Virginia.

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Accomack-Northampton Regional Housing Auth

Accomack-Northampton Regional Housing Auth serves Virginia.

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Albemarle County Office of Housing

Waiting List Status
Albemarle County, Virginia Closed

Albemarle County Office of Housing is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Alexandria, Virginia Closed

Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Arlington County Department of Human Services

Waiting List Status
Arlington, Virginia Closed

Arlington County Department of Human Services is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Bay Aging

Waiting List Status
Essex, Gloucester, King & Queen, King William, Mathews, and Middlesex County, Virginia Closed

Bay Aging is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Big Stone Gap Redevelopment And Housing Auth.

Big Stone Gap Redevelopment And Housing Auth. serves Virginia.

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Bristol Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Bristol, Virginia Open Until Further Notice

Bristol Redevelopment and Housing Authority is accepting applications for each waiting list.

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Buchanan County Board of Supervisors

Waiting List Status
Buchanan County, Virginia Closed

Buchanan County Board of Supervisors is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Buckingham Housing Development Corp. Inc.

Buckingham Housing Development Corp. Inc. serves Virginia.

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Campbell County Department of Social Services and Rental Assistance Office

Waiting List Status
Campbell County, Virginia Closed

Campbell County Department of Social Services and Rental Assistance Office is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Central Virginia Housing Coalition

Waiting List Status
Limited Caroline, Fauquier, King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford County; and the City of Fredericksburg, Virginia Closed

Central Virginia Housing Coalition is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Central Virginia Resource Corporation - Main

Central Virginia Resource Corporation - Main serves Virginia.

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Central Virginia Resource Corporation - Prince George

Central Virginia Resource Corporation - Prince George serves Virginia.

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Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Charlottesville, Virginia Closed

Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Chesapeake Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Chesapeake, Virginia Closed
Chesapeake, Virginia Limited Closed

Chesapeake Redevelopment and Housing Authority is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Department of Social Services

Waiting List Status
Chesterfield County and Colonial Heights City, Virginia Closed

Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Department of Social Services is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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City of Manassas Housing Office

Waiting List Status
Manassas and Manassas Park, Virginia Closed

City of Manassas Housing Office is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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City of Winchester Housing Choice Voucher Program Office

Waiting List Status
Winchester, Virginia Closed

City of Winchester Housing Choice Voucher Program Office is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Clinch Valley Community Action

Waiting List Status
Russell and Tazewell County, Virginia Closed

Clinch Valley Community Action is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Covington Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Covington Redevelopment and Housing Authority serves Virginia.

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Cumberland Plateau Regional Housing Authority

Cumberland Plateau Regional Housing Authority serves Virginia.

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Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Pittsylvania County, and the City of Danville City, Virginia Closed
Henry County, and the City of Martinsville, Virginia Closed

Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Dickenson County Rental Assistance

Waiting List Status
Dickenson County, Virginia Closed

Dickenson County Rental Assistance is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
City and County of Fairfax, Virginia Closed

Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Fluvanna-Louisa County Housing Foundation

Fluvanna-Louisa County Housing Foundation serves Virginia.

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Franklin Redevelopment And Housing Authority

Franklin Redevelopment And Housing Authority serves Virginia.

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Hampton Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Hampton, Virginia Closed

Hampton Redevelopment and Housing Authority is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Hanover Community Services Board

Hanover Community Services Board serves Virginia.

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Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, Virginia Open Until Further Notice

Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority is accepting applications for each waiting list.

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Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services

Waiting List Status
Henrico, Charles City and New Kent County, Virginia Closed

Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Hopewell Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Hopewell, Virginia Open Soon

Hopewell Redevelopment and Housing Authority is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, but will begin accepting applications for waiting list soon.

Get Ready To Apply

Housing Connections

Waiting List Status
Craig, Floyd, Giles, Montgomery and Pulaski County, Virginia Closed

Housing Connections is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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James City County Office of Housing

Waiting List Status
James City County and Williamsburg, Virginia Closed

James City County Office of Housing is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Lee County Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Lee County Redevelopment and Housing Authority serves Virginia.

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Loudoun County Department of Housing and Community Development

Waiting List Status
Loudoun County, Virginia Closed

Loudoun County Department of Housing and Community Development is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Lynchburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Lynchburg, Virginia Closed

Lynchburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Marion Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Marion Redevelopment & Housing Authority Open Until Further Notice

Marion Redevelopment and Housing Authority is accepting applications for each waiting list.

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Nelson County Community Development Foundation

Waiting List Status
Amherst, Appomattox, Buckingham, Cumberland, Nelson, and Prince Edward County, Virginia Closed

Nelson County Community Development Foundation is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Newport News, Virginia Closed

Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Norfolk, Virginia Non-Elderly Disabled Closed
Norfolk, Virginia Limited Closed
Norfolk, Virginia Closed

Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Norton Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Norton Redevelopment and Housing Authority serves Virginia.

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People Inc. of Southwest Virginia

People Inc. of Southwest Virginia serves Virginia.

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Petersburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Petersburg, Virginia Closed

Petersburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Piedmont Housing Alliance

Piedmont Housing Alliance serves Virginia.

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Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Portsmouth Redevelopment & Housing Authority Closed

Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Prince William County Office of Housing and Community Development

Waiting List Status
Prince William County, Virginia Non-Elderly Disabled (NEDS) Closed
Prince William County, Virginia Closed

Prince William County Office of Housing and Community Development is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Radford City Rental Assistance Office

Waiting List Status
Radford, Virginia Closed

Radford City Rental Assistance Office is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Rappahannock Rapidan Community Services

Waiting List Status
Limited Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock County, Virginia Closed

Rappahannock Rapidan Community Services is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
City of Richmond; and Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico County, Virginia Closed

Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Roanoke, Virginia Closed

Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Rockbridge Area Rental Assistance Office

Waiting List Status
Rockbridge County; and the Cities of Buena Vista and Lexington, Virginia Closed

Rockbridge Area Rental Assistance Office is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Rooftop of Virginia Community Action Program

Waiting List Status
Carroll and Grayson County; and Galax City, Virginia Closed

Rooftop of Virginia Community Action Program is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Scott County Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Scott County Redev. & Housing Authority Open Until Further Notice

Scott County Redevelopment and Housing Authority is accepting applications for each waiting list.

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Shenandoah County Department of Social Services

Waiting List Status
Shenandoah, Page and Warren County, Virginia Closed

Shenandoah County Department of Social Services is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Staunton Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Staunton and Augusta County, Virginia Open Until Further Notice

Staunton Redevelopment and Housing Authority is accepting applications for each waiting list.

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Step Inc

Waiting List Status
Bedford, Franklin, and Patrick County, Virginia Closed

Step Inc is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Isle of Wight County and Suffolk, Virginia Closed

Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Sussex County Housing Office

Waiting List Status
Sussex, Surry, and Greensville County; and Emporia City, Virginia Closed

Sussex County Housing Office is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Virginia Beach Housing and Neighborhood Preservation

Waiting List Status
Virginia Beach, Virginia Closed

Virginia Beach Housing and Neighborhood Preservation is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Virginia Housing

Virginia Housing serves Virginia.

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Waynesboro Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Waynesboro, Virginia Closed

Waynesboro Redevelopment and Housing Authority is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Williamsburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Williamsburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority serves Virginia.

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Wise County Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Wise County, Virginia Open Until Further Notice

Wise County Redevelopment and Housing Authority is accepting applications for each waiting list.

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Wytheville Redev. and Housing Authority

Waiting List Status
Wytheville Redev. & Housing Authority Closed

Wytheville Redev. and Housing Authority is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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York County Housing Office

Waiting List Status
York County and the City of Poquoson, Virginia Closed

York County Housing Office is not accepting applications for any waiting lists now, and the waiting lists are not scheduled to open anytime soon. However, Public Housing Agencies offer more programs than the Section 8 and Public Housing Programs.

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Are Section 8 Waiting Lists Open in Virginia?

As of February 23, 2024, AHO is tracking 1 waiting lists open right now that are scheduled to close in the near future. Additionally, AHO is monitoring 6 waiting lists that are open until further notice.

AHO encourages you to first apply to the waiting lists that are scheduled to close, as most housing choice voucher programs do not have a set schedule for when they will reopen their waiting lists.

AHO still encourages you to apply to continuously open waiting lists as soon as possible. These waiting lists may close without sufficient notice.

In total, there are 7 waiting lists you can apply to right now and 0 waiting lists you can apply to soon.

How many HCV waiting lists were open in Virginia in the last few years?

During the last three years, there were 48 HCV waiting lists open for at least a day in Virginia.

How long were HCV waiting lists kept open in Virginia in the last few years?

Section 8 HCV waiting lists in Virginia were kept open an average of 256 days over the last three years.

Many waiting lists were kept open only a short time. In the last three years, 64.6% were open seven days or less and 43.8% were open for only one day (or a few hours) . This means that it is important for low-income renters to apply right away when they find an open waiting list.

How hard is it to get a voucher if I don't currently live in the area the housing authority serves?

Renters can apply to any open HCV waiting list in the country. The program is supposed to promote mobility so that renters can move to places with more opportunity.

Some housing authorities have a preference for local residents in their waiting list placement. If you live outside the area you can get on the waiting list, but you will likely wait a long time before a voucher is offered, if at all.

Over the last three years, 60.4% of waiting lists in Virginia that opened had a preference for local residents.

To what extent do housing authorities in Virginia increase access with online applications?

Online applications make it easier for low-income renters to apply for open waiting lists, especially when applying to different communities or when waiting lists are only kept open a short time.

Online applications were used for 75% of waiting list applications in in Virginia over the last three years.

How fair is waiting list placement in Virginia?

Random lotteries were used by 41.7% of housing authorities in Virginia to place applicants on their waiting lists over the last three years.

Applicants placed at the bottom of a waiting list may wait up to two or three years before being offered a voucher. Placing applicants on a waiting list using a random lottery gives everyone a fair chance to be near the top of the list.

Many housing authorities place applicants according to the date and time of their submission. Applicants who apply later will have a long wait for assistance, which is especially unfair in cases where waiting lists are kept open just few days or less.

How long do households spend on an HCV waiting list in Virginia before receiving a voucher?

Households spend an average of 35 months on a waiting list before receiving a voucher in Virginia.

Who is served by HCV programs offered through housing authorities in Virginia?

HCV households served by housing authorities in Virginia include:

  • 28% headed by seniors
  • 24% with a person with a disability
  • 42% with children
  • 34% where the majority of household income comes from wages earned

What is the income level of households served by HCV programs offered through housing authorities in Virginia?

According to HUD, in general, in order to receive a voucher, a household's income may not exceed 50% of the median income (50% AMI) for the county or metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live. By law, a housing authority must provide 75% of its voucher to applicants whose incomes do not exceed 30% of the area median income (30% AMI).

A 50% AMI household is considered very low-income (VLI) and a 30% AMI household is considered extremely low-income (ELI). ELI households are a subset of the VLI households served by a housing authority.

In the voucher programs of housing authorities in Virginia, VLI households make up 95% of voucher-holding households.

ELI households make up 76% of voucher-holding households.

Is there an application fee for Section 8 waiting lists?

It is against HUD policy for an agency to charge for a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher application. If anyone is charging a fee for an application, they are either violating federal law, or a scammer with an empty promise. Do not pay for an application.

Why are there Section 8 waiting lists?

Like most low income housing programs, renters are placed on a waiting list to get a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher because there is a very high demand for vouchers, and a limited supply.

Waiting lists for a Section 8 voucher also tend to be longer than those for other housing programs because renters can live in an apartment or house of their choice. Most of the other rental housing programs require the household to live in a pre-determined apartment.

How does a Section 8 waiting list work?

Renters must first submit an application to a housing authority with an open Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) waiting list. If a waiting list is not currently open, applications cannot be submitted.

After applying, the housing authority will create a list of qualified applicants that is sorted by random lottery, or the date and time applications were received. Many of these waiting lists have limited spots, so some applicants may not be selected for the waiting list, even if they are qualified.

If the household is selected for the waiting list, the housing authority will send confirmation. Be aware that some waiting lists have preferences (such as elderly or local applicants), and qualified households are given priority placement over others.

After getting placed on a waiting list, prepare to wait for some time. Because of the high demand of the HCV program, waiting lists may be many months or years long.

Once the household reaches the top of the waiting list, an eligibility interview will be held to make sure that everyone is qualified. If the household does not meet the qualifications, they can continue applying to other open waiting lists for a chance to get a voucher.

Who can apply for a Section 8 waiting list?

To apply for a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list, the head of the household must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or an eligible immigrant. If the head of household cannot submit an application, another person can submit one on their behalf.

There are many qualifications to get a Section 8 voucher, including income, housing, and criminal history. But those requirements do not prevent a person from applying for an open waiting list.

What is needed to apply for a Section 8 waiting list?

To apply for a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list, renters must usually provide their first and last name, date of birth, Social Security Number or Alien ID, and the total gross income of all household members (with exceptions).

Applications may ask for additional information, including housing history, criminal history, proof of income, and preference verification. Applicants may also be asked for demographic information, like gender, disability status, or race and ethnicity.

When can I apply for a Section 8 waiting list?

Applications for a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher can only be submitted when the housing authority opens the program's waiting list.

For many areas, waiting lists are only open for a brief period. And depending on the area, when a waiting list closes, it may not reopen for many months or years. But there are also many housing authorities that keep their waiting lists open indefinitely, which means that there is no scheduled close date. These waiting lists can close at any time, but they sometimes stay open for months or years.

Can I apply for multiple Section 8 waiting lists?

Yes, renters can apply for multiple Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting lists. There is no limit to how many waiting lists a household may be on.

But, it's usually not allowed to submit multiple applications for the same waiting list. If more than one application is submitted for the same waiting list, the household risks getting disqualified.

What is a Section 8 waiting list lottery?

In many areas, the demand for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers is so great that the managing housing authority cannot add all applicants to its waiting list. To give all applicants an equal chance of being placed on the waiting list, many agencies draw names by random lottery from the entire pool of applicants.

Housing authorities will usually state if they are doing a lottery drawing on the public notice for the waiting list. If there is not a lottery, applicants will be placed on the waiting list by the date and time the application is received.

How long is a waiting list for Section 8 housing?

Once a household is placed on a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list, they may wait anywhere between many months or years before being offered a rental assistance voucher.

There is no typical wait time for a voucher. The amount of time spent on a waiting list depends on various factors, including how many preferences are met, and the location of rental assistance. An applicant in one area of the country may wait less than a year, while someone in another area is on a waiting list for five years or more.

How can I get more information about a Section 8 waiting list?

The easiest way to get more information about many Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) waiting lists is to visit the housing authority's website. Most housing authorities with a website will have a dedicated Section 8 HCV page with details about the program.

However, not all housing authorities have a website. And some that do may provide a limited amount of information. If this is the case, contact the housing authority for help. The agency can tell you if a waiting list is open, how to apply, and other important application requirements.

Is there any way to get priority placement on a Section 8 waiting list?

Yes, many housing authorities use preferences to give a priority to applicants who are part of groups in the area that are in great need of assistance.

Common preference categories for Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting lists include seniors, persons with disabilities, veterans, homeless persons, and those who live and work locally. Applicants who qualify for preferences will have a shorter wait time than those who don't.

What is Section 8?

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program gives low income rental assistance to individuals and families who need help affording monthly rent. Households with a Section 8 voucher may choose to live in any home that meets the program requirements, including apartments and single-family homes. It is a federal housing program that is run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Renters with a Section 8 voucher usually pay 30% of their income for rent. The rest is paid to the landlord by the managing housing authority.

When looking for housing options, be aware that there are other housing programs that use the name "Section 8," including the Project-Based Voucher (PBV) and Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) programs. However, the name "Section 8" on its own usually refers to the HCV program.

How do I apply for a Section 8 waiting list?

When a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list is open, there can be a number of different ways to submit an application. In most cases, Section 8 applications are available online, in person, by mail, or a variety of these options.

Online applications are often submitted through a form on a website. Printable applications may be available on the internet, as well. If an application can be sent by mail, a request for one is usually done by phone, mail or email.

In rare situations, applications may also be submitted by fax, or directly by phone. These outdated methods have been phased out by many housing authorities, but there are still some applications that operate this way.

Where can I apply for a Section 8 waiting list?

Renters can apply to most open Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting lists in the country. You do not have to live in the area to apply to most waiting lists, but there are some with restrictions. If the waiting list is restricted, it means that the housing authority is targeting a specific demographic (such as homeless applicants), and documentation or a reference may be required to apply.

However, even if a waiting list is available to the general public, applicants who do not live in the area should check if there are preferences. Preferences give qualified applicants priority placement on the waiting list. And one of the most common preferences is for local residents. This means that non-local applicants may have a very long wait for a voucher, or may not get a voucher at all because of the local demand.