Section 8 Rent Subsidy Waitlist Now Open Thru May 28, 2021

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, an administering agency pays a portion of eligible families’ rent each month directly to the Landlord.

The three largest government providers of Section 8 vouchers in New York City are the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (DHPD) and the New York State Division of Homes and Community Renewal (DHCR). The waiting lists for NYCHA and DHPD have been closed for more than ten years. However, DHCR is opening its Section 8 waiting list on May 17. Specifically, the application period will be May 17, starting at 9 a.m. and ending May 28, at 11:59 p.m. Applications will not be accepted outside of this period. 

Information about the DHCR waiting list opening can be found at: There is no cost to submit an application. DHCR will select 15,000 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. Applying does not guarantee a voucher. 

Applicants must be 18 or older and reside in an income-eligible household. The income limits are set annually by HUD and can be found on HUD’s website:

Applicants who currently reside outside of New York City must reside within New York City for the first 12 months after receiving a voucher. 

Only on-line applications will be accepted. Paper applications submitted by mail or in person will not be accepted. The application form will be available on May 17 on NYSHCR’s website:

Households defined as Homeless or Elderly and/or Disabled (as defined by U.S. Housing and Urban Development department (HUD)) or families with Dependent Children will have a preference in the application process.

Everyone who successfully submitted an application and who provides a working e-mail address will receive notification by e-mail to inform them of their status. If an application is selected, the applicant will be notified of their position on the waiting list. If an application is not selected, the applicant will receive an e-mail notifying them that their application was not selected in the lottery. 

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. However, an applicant family without any citizens or members with eligible immigration status is not eligible for assistance.

Information about other Section 8 waiting lists in New York State is available at: New York Section 8 Waiting Lists Open Now (

Please call the MELS Screening Unit at 212-815-1111 to consult with a MELS attorney about the status of Section 8 voucher waiting lists in New York and the process for applying for a Section 8 voucher.

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