Did you know that many Public Housing Administrations give the top Section 8 waiting list openings to applicants who meet additional requirements? This is referred to as “preferences.” 

These preferences for top spots vary between PHAs because they are usually based on the needs of a community. For example, a community that has a higher poverty for senior citizens may have a preference for low-income seniors. 

Tips for Getting Through the Section 8 Housing Waiting List Faster

The good news is that you might meet certain criteria that help you move up toward the top of the Section 8 waiting list and not even know it! If you’re worried about whether or not you’ll be able to find an open list and move up the list quickly enough to get the aid you need, then this slide is for you.  

Many PHAs have waiting lists that you could potentially qualify for. If you meet these qualifications, you could receive Section 8 vouchers sooner and be able to start searching for Section 8 houses for rent. 

There are several common PHA preferences that you may qualify for. You may be able to “cut the line” if you meet one of the following requirements: 

  • You are currently homeless or about to become homeless
  • Your income is well below the median income of the PHA area you are applying for 
  • You or someone in your household is disabled 
  • You or someone in your household is 62 years of age or older 
  • You or someone in your household is a U.S. veteran or service member 
  • You are a victim of domestic violence 
  • You have been displaced by a natural disaster 
  • You live in a household with at least one young child 

If you submit a Section 8 application to a PHA that has preferences and meet those qualifications, you may be able to receive Section 8 vouchers right away or spend less time on the waiting list. However, keep in mind that you must provide proof of meeting these criteria, just as you would when applying for the Housing Choice Voucher Program. 

If you reach the top of the Section 8 waiting list, the Public Housing Administration may review your eligibility once again if there has been any changes to your household or household income. So long as you meet the qualifications, you can access resources to help you find apartments, townhomes, or houses that accept Section 8 vouchers. 

Before you can apply to an open waiting list, it may help to know how to find an open waitlist for low income housing faster. Continue on to the next slide to learn more.