Section 8 Waitlist
May 6, 2021

HCR Announces Lottery For Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Waitlist In New York City

HCR Announces Lottery For Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Waitlist In New York City
Waitlist Lottery Will Open May 17 for Online Application on HCR’s Website
Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers Provide Rent Subsidies for Low-Income, Elderly and Disabled Households for Use in the Private Housing Market

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas today announced that the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waitlist lottery for New York City will open for applications on May 17 at 9:00 a.m. The online application will be available on HCR’s website through May 28, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. The program provides rent subsidies for eligible low-income households including those that are homeless or have senior or disabled members. 

As demand for vouchers exceeds supply, HCR maintains an active waitlist for households interested in the program. Through this open lottery, 15,000 applicants will be randomly selected to be added to HCR’s New York City waitlist. 

“The Federal Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program helps more than two hundred thousand New York families and individuals live affordably in rental homes of their choosing,” Commissioner Visnauskas said. “By opening up the New York City waitlist, we can ultimately help more low-income families, senior citizens, and homeless individuals with disabilities find affordable housing.” 

Applicants added to the waitlist will be contacted by HCR to verify eligibility as vouchers become available. Priority will be given to households at-risk of or experiencing homelessness, households who identify as elderly and/or disabled, and households with dependent children.  

Eligible applicants must meet all of the following criteria: 

  • Must be 18 years of age or older, or an emancipated minor; 
  • Must meet federal income eligibility guidelines based on household size;
  • At least one member of the applicant’s household must be a U.S. citizen, a legal permanent resident or have another eligible immigration status.

Applicants who currently reside outside of New York City must reside within New York City for the first twelve months after receiving a voucher. 

Applications are available online only. Applicants needing assistance completing the online application, including translation services, can contact the call center starting on May 10 at +1 833-990-4001 (TTY +1 833-990-4002). Please note that the call center opens on Monday, May 10 to answer questions, but applications will not be accepted until Monday, May 17.

Only one application per person is permitted. Households may apply even if they are already on another Section 8 waitlist.  Applications are not first come, first served.

For more information about the program, including the answers to many Frequently Asked Questions, visit HCR’s website.  

Lottery applications do not guarantee placement on the waitlist or receipt of a Housing Choice Voucher. Applicants selected to be on the waitlist will be notified of their waitlist placement within three to four weeks and will only be contacted for eligibility screening appointments as assistance becomes available. The number of vouchers available in any given year is contingent on a variety of factors, including federal budget allocations.  

The federal Housing Choice Voucher program allows families to find housing within a neighborhood of their choice and rent a unit from a landlord eligible to participate in the program. The program requires families to pay a reasonable share of their income toward rent, while the difference, within specific limits, is paid in the form of a subsidy. Voucher recipients and the rental unit must meet certain criteria set forth by HCR and the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.