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New York City Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Waitlist Lottery

New York City Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Waitlist Lottery


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New York City Section 8 Voucher Waitlist Opens

May 17 – May 28

Section 8 Vouchers provide a subsidy to help low-income renters afford safe, decent housing.

The Section 8 Voucher Waitlist application is now closed. Applicants will be notified by email if they were selected or not selected for placement on the waitlist. Notices will be sent to the email address or phone number you provided in your application. HCR is not responsible for any incorrect contact information provided by the applicant. Please be sure to check your spam/junk email folder if you do not receive a notification within the next two weeks.

Please note that this waiting list only applies to vouchers from HCR; applicants must apply separately for vouchers from other housing authorities, including NYCHA.

Selected applicants:

There is no estimated wait time for how long it will take for you to be offered a voucher. Wait times vary depending on a combination of factors, including your place on the list, established preferences, your income, and voucher availability. When we reach your position on the waiting list you will be contacted to confirm whether you are still eligible for the program.  You will be required to submit documentation at that time to verify your eligibility. 

Verify your placement on the waitlist at:

If you have a change in contact information, you must notify our office by email or by mail. Failure to do so will result in us being unable to contact you when we reach your number on the list. If we cannot reach you, your name will be deleted from the waiting list.

Please send all correspondence to: [email protected] or NYC Subsidy Services Office, Attn: Section 8 office, 25 Beaver Street, NY 10004.

How the lottery works

Applicants must apply while the waitlist is open. HCR will select 30,000 households for the waitlist through a lottery. Those selected for the waitlist will be offered a voucher as one becomes available, and will be subject to additional eligibility screening. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Applying does not guarantee a voucher. 

Who Can Apply

Applicants must be 18+ and reside in an income-eligible household. See the “Income Eligibility” section below for details. Applicants who currently reside outside of New York City must reside within New York City for the first 12 months after receiving a voucher. 

Number of Persons in Family Income Limits
1 $41,800
2 $47,750
3 $53,700
4 $59,650
5 $64,450
6 $69,200
7 $74,000
8 $78,750
9 $83,510
10 $84,286

Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions Answers

How do I apply for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)?

New York State Homes & Community Renewal (NYSHCR) will accept lottery applications for the wait list for the HCV Program between 9:00 AM, May 17, 2021 through, 11:59PM on May 28, 2021. Applications are available on NYSHCR’s website: To request a reasonable accommodation to submit or complete an application or for language assistance, please call 833-990-4001, TTY # 833-990-4002. Application does not guarantee placement on the waitlist or receipt of a Housing Choice Voucher.

What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, commonly known as Section 8, is a federal program designed to provide rental assistance to low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Through the HCV Program, NYSHCR pays a portion of eligible families’ rent each month directly to the Property Owner/Manager/Landlord.

What is a Tenant-Based Voucher?

Tenant-based Vouchers provide rental assistance for families in the private rental market. The voucher is provided to applicants and then can choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program.

NYSHCR pays a portion of contracted rent in the form of a housing assistance payment to the landlord on behalf of the participant. The Participant pays the remaining rent, an amount that is roughly equivalent to 30% of their monthly income, and the utility expenses.

What is a Project-Based Voucher?

Project-Based Vouchers provide rental assistance that is tied to a specific apartment unit in a property contracted with the Housing Authority. Applicants selected for the Project-Based Waiting List may only receive a Project-Based Voucher.

HCR has Project-Based Vouchers located throughout New York City. If you are selected for a Project Based Voucher, you will be contacted to determine if you are eligible for the specific building where the voucher is located.  You may check off all five boroughs if you would be interested in living there. 

Is there a cost to submit an application for the Waiting List?

No. There is no cost to submit an application. NYSHCR will never ask for your debit or credit card or any other form of payment to submit an application for its services. Additionally, please do not provide personal information to anyone claiming he or she can guarantee a spot on the waiting list, improve your chances of selection for the waiting list, or ensure that you will receive any benefits from NYSHCR.

Can more than one person in my household submit an application?

Yes. A head of household cannot submit more than one application but a different head of household can submit another application for a different household composition. For example, Grandmother can submit an application for a household with Adult Son and Grandson. Separately, if Adult Son wants to move out, Adult Son can submit an application for him and Grandson. Each head of household must be 18 years of age or older, or an emancipated minor according to NYS law.

Am I eligible to receive a preference on the NYSHCR waiting list?

As per the NYSHCR administrative plan, the following preferences are in place:

·      Households defined as Homeless

·      Households identified as Elderly and/or Disabled (as defined by HUD) or families with Dependent Children.

What are the eligibility requirements to be admitted into NYSHCR’s HCV Program?

To be eligible to receive a voucher, you must meet the following requirements at the time you are selected from the Waitlist:

  • You must be 18 years of age or older, or an emancipated minor according to NYS law.
  • Your household income must meet income guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for New York City. Maximum income guidelines may not exceed the low-income limit as determined by HUD annually.
  • You must meet all the eligibility guidelines found in the NYSHCR Administrative Plan.
  • When selected from the Waitlist, you will be required to provide additional information to verify the data you supplied when applying.  HCR will verify your data and in most cases will require documentation to demonstrate that you are eligible. Examples of information include: proof of preference documentation, annual household income, family composition, social security numbers, or eligible immigration status for at least one family member, criminal background, and prior termination from housing assistance programs. False information provided during the screening process may result in you being ineligible for NYSHCR housing programs. See below regarding immigration eligibility.

What do I need to Apply (for all household members)? 

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number or Residency Registration Number
  • Current Household Income (gross)
  • Number of Household Members

What are the income limits used to determine eligibility?

Can I apply for the Waiting List if I was previously terminated from the program?

Yes. You will not be prohibited from submitting an application; however, when you are selected for the Waiting List, your application will be reviewed in accordance with NYSHCR’s eligibility and screening criteria, which may include a review of your previous participation in a housing assistance program.

Can I be selected for the NYSHCR Waiting List if I am on another program’s waiting list?

Yes. It is possible to be selected from more than one Waiting List.

What happens after I submit an application for the NYSHCR Waiting List Lottery?

A confirmation number will be displayed on your screen when you have successfully completed the application. The confirmation will also be emailed to your email address you provided in the application. Applicants should print your registration confirmation for your records 

When will I be notified if my application was selected in the lottery?

Everyone who successfully submitted an application and who provided a working email will receive notification by email to inform them of their status. If your application was selected, you will be notified of your position on the waiting list.  If your application was not selected, you will receive an email notifying you that your application was not selected in the lottery. Please be sure to check the spam or junk folder in your email account. HCR will not be held responsible for notifications that were either rejected due to an inaccurate email address or were not read due to an applicant’s email settings, and is under no obligation to re-issue a notification.

If my application is selected for the Waiting List, will I lose my spot on another waiting list?

No. If your application is selected to be included on the NYSHCR Waiting List and you get notified for another Waiting List first, you will keep your spot on the other Waiting List. Even if you reject assistance from one program, you can keep your spot on the other Waiting List.

If I am on any other waiting list (i.e., NYCHA and/or HPD), will that automatically place me on NYSHCR’s waiting list?

No, being on any other waiting list, including NYCHA’s or HPD’s waiting list does not automatically place you on NYSHCR’s Waiting List; YOU MUST REPLY SEPARATELY TO NYSHCR.

If selected for the NYSHCR Waiting List, when will I receive housing assistance?

As housing assistance becomes available, NYSHCR will contact you by email for an eligibility screening appointment. The screening process will determine if you meet the basic eligibility requirements to qualify for the program. If you meet the program requirements, you will receive your tenant-based or project-based housing voucher.

I am not a US citizen.  Am I eligible to apply?

You do not have to be a United States citizen to apply for public or subsidized housing. Lawful permanent residents and certain categories of  other noncitizens may apply. An applicant family without any citizens or members with eligible immigration status is not eligible for assistance. If one member of your household fits into any of the categories below, your whole family can apply to the program.


A citizen born in the United States

A naturalized citizen

Eligible Noncitizens:

A lawful permanent resident (Green card holder)

A registry immigrant (admitted for permanent residence by the U.S. Attorney General and eligible for citizenship)

A refugee or an asylee

A conditional entrant

A parolee

A withholding grantee

A person granted 1986 amnesty status

A resident of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, or Guam

A victim of trafficking or relatives of such a victim

Can I apply for Section 8 housing if some members of my family are not U.S. citizens and do not have a lawful immigration status?

Yes. You can apply to the program if at least one member of your household is a citizen, a legal permanent resident (greencard holder) or eligible noncitizen (see the list above of eligible noncitizens). Households that include people with both eligible and ineligible immigration status are called mixed households. For example, if you do not have legal immigration status but your child was born in the United States and is a U.S. citizen, you have a mixed household.

If you have a mixed household, you will be eligible, but only for pro-rated assistance based on the number of members in your household who are U.S. citizens or have eligible immigration status. This may reduce your ability to receive assistance if the rent is too high to afford.

If you have questions regarding your immigration status and eligibility, please contact an immigration expert. If you do not have an attorney, and need help to find low cost, high-quality legal services, please call the Office for New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636.

If I get a Section 8 voucher, will that count against me in a public charge determination for immigration purposes?

Right now, receipt of Section 8 benefits is not counted as a public charge for immigration purposes. 

When called from the waiting list and asked to complete certification, will a housing specialist from DHS be able to serve as proxy and assist homeless applicants in completing the eligibility determination? Yes. The applicant can seek assistance from an advocate to assist with completing the documents.
What are the rules for submitting birth certificates for children (didn’t see anything specifically speaking to this in our Admin plan, but it’s apparently a problem for NYCHA applicants)? Baptism, passports, school documents including birthdays and SSI awards (if applicable) would be accepted. Public assistance typically has this info on the budget printout (if applicable).
If an applicant selected for the waiting list needs to change their information, how would they do so? The applicant must submit documentation stating the change of info through mail or email. Later this year we hope to have a tenant portal available to collect such updates.
If an applicant does not have an email address, can we enter the staff/agency email address of the person assisting at a CBO with the application? Yes.
Would a client who has a felony be able to apply? Yes.
What documentation of homeless status will be accepted, what needs to be included in a letter from a shelter for example. HCR requires the applicant provide or obtain written verification from a coordinating shelter, housing provider, service agency or institution (for those being discharged) confirming the same. This will be collected at the eligibility appointment.
What if the only income in the household is from the children SSI benefits? The applicant can still apply.
Can someone who is a FHEPS or CityFHEPS recipient but is interested in applying for Section 8 are they allow to do so? Yes.
Can staff help clients with applications on site? Yes.
Can applicants who applied decades ago and did not receive it, apply again? Yes.
How will clients who are vision impaired work around the email requirement? A TTD line is available for assistance: 833-990-4002
Does the applicant have to have a job? No.
Can people with SSI apply? Yes.
How many times can the EBO employer use their work email to submit application on behalf of the client? There is no limit.
Does the income limit apply to DV victims? The income limit applies to all.
How soon after submitting an application will applicants learn if they were accepted? Within 2 weeks of the waiting list closing, June 1-11.
What if a child is trying to leave their parents’ home. Can they apply as a single individual? Yes.
Will the extra $300 from unemployment be counted as income? No. Pandemic unemployment ($300) is not included towards household income for the HCV program.
Can outside people apply, or only shelter? Yes. The application is open to the public.
Is there an income cap for working homeless? Please refer to income guidelines.
Can our voucher holders still get accepted since they are in shelter? Yes.
Can single adults in need of rent payment assistance can apply? Yes.
If clients are living in shared are apartments that they are technically not supposed to be in, would revealing that information put the other tenants at risk? No. All information is held confidential.
Can the voucher be applied to rental arrears so clients can remain in there apartment? No.
If a person has unemployment, has an apartment but can’t afford their current rent can they apply? Yes.
Would residents who already reside in NYCHA but do not have Section 8, be eligible? Yes.
Can they use this voucher for the people in the current apartment they are in? Yes.
Once selected, does a client have to look for Section 8 apartments on their own or will Section 8 provide a list of Section 8 available apartments? The applicant locates their own housing.
What if a client just wants the section 8 to move to North Carolina? They can apply.
Do people in the SCRIE/DRIE RENT FREEZE programs qualify? Yes.



To request a reasonable accommodation to submit or complete an application or for language assistance, please call 833-990-4001, TTY # 833-990-4002.