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How does Section 8 Determine when to open or close the waiting list?

Each housing authority contracted to run a Section 8 program reserves the right to open or close the waiting list based on the number of applicants. The
waiting list will be closed when there are not enough housing subsidies to assist all the applicants
in a reasonable period of time, such as one or two years. When Section 8 determines that additional
applicants are needed, the will
be posted. You can get more information about such announcements here.


All notices in the advertising announcing the opening of the waiting list will include:
• the dates the list will be open;
• the office hours and location where applications are available and will be accepted;
• the availability of Housing Choice Vouchers;
• eligibility guidelines;
• preferences for the selection of applicants; and
• any limitations which may apply.

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Written by Jason Strick

A landlord and Section 8 housing and application expert.


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  1. hello, do you have any online application that i can fill out and just print or submit online instead of going out to apply

    • There is no such thing currently as being able to print and submit a section 8 application online. We do plan on having the section 8 applications from each housing authority for you to print. Sign up for our mailing list to be alerted when that happens. Thanks, Jason Strick.

    • Apply now. There are no guarantees that they will let you transfer quickly.

  2. They will not let me even apply while the list is closed. I need help now, by the time it reopens I will be homeless.

  3. when u feel that u have been wrongfully done by the section 8 program, or shall i say the housing authority who do i contact , to discuss this matter , i will greatfully appreciate , any information that u can share with me, i need 2 talk to someone personaly , i really need help on this matter. THANK YOU.

    • They don’t give 2 cents about you unfortunately. And i’m sure they would disregard your complaints. Move on.

  4. hello out there… is there a way to find out what position you are in on the waiting list…. before the mailing they do? thanks jennifer

  5. Hello Jason, I have a mental disability and live in Washington state, isn’t there a way for me to get moved up on the list do to my mental status? I have heard about something known as aftercare vouchers, as in, my mental health provider could request one on my behalf? I am homeless and need to get housed right away!!! Thanks you for answering.

  6. Hi my name is Sonia I currently live in Chicago, IL with my 3 kids and we live with my mom but she is planning on move in April 2010, and we can’t go with her. My question is my youngest son is Autistic, I don’t work I stay home to be with him and my other 2 kids. All are under the age of 9. I was planning on moving to Philadelphia, PA with them but not sure if I should apply for housing in Chicago or Philadelphia?!? I know the list are closed and all but I was going to try getting the emergency section 8 voucher I read about. Can you help me out a little bit? Thanks

  7. Hy I’m be waiting on the list 8 years and they saying I still have like 10 more there’s anyway I cab get faster I have 3 kids I’m living in a room.

    • Call your local Section 8 Office and find out what are the chances you have to get on the emergency list.

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