With some PHAs, the top Section 8 openings are given to applicants who meet certain requirements. This is called “preference.” Preference is usually given to applicants who are considered to be at risk if they are forced to wait for housing assistance. These preferences can be different depending on the PHA, with some types of applicants getting quicker access to housing vouchers in some areas, while others receive preference with other PHAs.
You may be able to skip to the top of your PHA’s waiting list and not even know it! Learn more about wait list preference in the sections below, and how it may help you get to the top of the list in your area (or at least nearer to it).
Worried that you won’t be able to find an open Section 8 waiting list to get the housing help that you and your family need?
Luckily, there are a few scenarios that would basically let you “cut” the waiting list line, matching you with a low-income housing unit more quickly than other applicants.
Many PHA waiting lists have preferences for applicants who meet some requirements. Rather than joining at the bottom of the list, you may qualify to jump toward the front or skip it entirely. It is up to each PHA to determine whether or not they will give preference and to whom.
You may be able to receive priority placement on a low income apartment waiting list if your PHA has preferences for applicants who meet any of the following requirements:
- You are homeless.
- Your income is extremely low.
- You are 62 years of age or older.
- You have a disability.
- You are a U.S. veteran.
- You were displaced by a natural disaster.
- You are a victim of domestic violence.
If your local PHA gives preference for any of these reasons, and you believe you meet the criteria, you may save yourself a lot of time waiting. Just keep in mind that you generally have to provide proof that you qualify for preference.