Finding a home within the 120-day window after you get a voucher is challenging. Credit: Anthony Fomin

The Section 8 waitlist in New York City has officially opened. This comes as the affordable housing crisis continues to grow.

New Yorkers applying to the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program must submit their applications by 11:59 p.m. on June 9. They can apply on this website.

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) administers the program. If you need help applying, call NYCHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Application Hotline from Monday, May 27, through Thursday, August 1, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hotline’s number is (718) 218-1525.

When the reopening was announced earlier this year, we spoke with a NYCHA spokesperson to get the answers to your housing questions. You can read the full Q&A here. It includes the information you need before applying, what you can expect at each step, and some rules renters must follow once they find a home. Below is a short excerpt from that interview.

How long will it take applicants to find out if they’ve been approved for a voucher?

After the waitlist is created, applicants will receive notification of their placement on the waitlist.  NYCHA will then select applicants for an eligibility interview based on the established preferences and date of application placement. Due to this selection process, we are unable to specify an exact timeframe for applicant selection. All applicants will have access to the self-service portal where their application status can be monitored.

Do certain applicants get priority, like veterans, people who are homeless, and families with children?

Everyone is invited to apply to the Section 8 waitlist. Once the waitlist has been established, NYCHA will apply its existing preferences to the applicants selected through the lottery process.  A list of NYCHA’s waitlist preferences is located in the HCVP Administrative Plan.  

Veterans seeking a Section 8 voucher can apply through HUD’s [ U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development] Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program. For additional information, visit here.

NYCHA says the idea is to select enough applicants using a lottery process to meet their voucher issuance needs for at least the next 10 years.

Will there be updated eligibility requirements? Will there be changes to income, family size, or other qualifying factors? 

When applicants are invited for an eligibility interview, they must fill out an online application and submit essential documents along with income and expense documentation. During this phase, they have the opportunity to update their income, family information, and other qualifying factors.

If a person applying is pregnant, should they list their unborn child on the application? 

An unborn child is considered part of the family and is counted toward the household size. 

Can migrants get Section 8 housing choice vouchers? 

At least one person in the household must have an eligible immigration status (be an eligible citizen or eligible non-citizen) to receive a voucher.

How can applicants check their status on the waitlist? 

Once the waitlist is established, applicants will be notified and can check the status of their application via NYCHA’s Self-Service Portal.

What steps should be taken if my contact information changes after applying?

Applicants can update their contact information on NYCHA’s Self-Service portal after applying.

Is there an appeals process if an application is denied, and how does it work?

There is no appeal process if an application is denied during the preliminary application stage.  However, we do have an appeal process if an applicant is denied at the eligibility stage.

Once this list closes again, is there a determination of how long until it reopens? 

No. At this time, it is unknown when the next Section 8 waitlist reopening will occur once the impending process is completed.   

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