FAQ: Our Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List

We often receive questions about the waiting list for the Federal Housing Choice Voucher Rental Assistance Program. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about how it works, why it’s so long, and what actions you can take while you wait for assistance.

How do I get on the waiting list?

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List is OPEN. We are happy to accept your application, but please understand there are over 7,000 applicants on the waiting list, and the estimated waiting time could be over nine years. Applications are processed according to the application date and preference status (please review the application for a list of the current preferences).

Why is the list so long?

New Hampshire Housing administers approximately 3,400 voucher subsidies, and all available vouchers are currently in use. We only pull from the waiting list when households leave the program or if more funding becomes available.

Very few households leave the program each year, and over the course of a year we may only add 200 new households to the program. With over 7,000 applicants on our waitlist, low turnover rates, and the ability to assist only about 200 new households per year, we estimate that it will take nine or more years to provide vouchers to everyone who has applied for assistance.

What do I do while I am on the waiting list?

While you are on the waiting list, you may also wish to consider the following options:

• Search our Directory of Assisted Housing that lists affordable units in assisted housing properties throughout the state. If you are interested in any of the properties listed, you will need to contact the management company directly.

• Check our list of vacant market-rate and subsidized units, which is updated regularly to assist households in their housing search.

• Contact the local housing authority in your area regarding their housing programs. A list of the housing authorities can be found in the Directory of Assisted Housing.

• Contact the Supportive Service and Disability Organizations listed on our website, which may provide some assistance and counseling with housing search and related issues.

• Contact your local welfare office to inquire about financial assistance. In addition, you can contact the 2-1-1 NH call center to obtain information and other services that may be available to you. . Residents in New Hampshire can contact 2-1-1 NH toll-free by dialing 2-1-1 to speak with a call specialist.

How do I find out the status of my application?

To find out your status on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program waiting list, call 1-800-439-7247 and follow the prompts to receive the automated recording (push 3, then choose 1 and then 2 EDIT (8/16/13): push 2 for rental assistance questions, then 1 for questions about applications, and then 2 for the status recording).

Leave a comment

28 Comments

  1. Cheryl McDevitt

     /  April 13, 2013

    If i am on the list and meet someone who is already on housing can we get a place together(a 2 bedroom) . I do not want to hurt his housing but this is an opportunity for a home for me and a savings for both of us.

    Reply
    • amandafli

       /  April 15, 2013

      Cheryl,

      The person on housing should contact his case manager since the process to add someone varies by Housing Authority. If his assistance is through New Hampshire Housing, he would contact his Rental Assistance Manager. Our policy is that a person being added has to go through our eligibility process, including a police background check. If you are approved and the landlord approves of adding you, you could then proceed to move in, depending on where the voucher holder is in his lease term. Please feel free to call us at (800) 439-7247 if you have questions.

      Reply
  2. Conkey

     /  July 30, 2013

    I am on foodstamps, but I have $0 for income. I am waiting to see if I will get accepted for state medical & cash assistance. I have also applied for SSDI. Would it be possible to get section 8 housing with $0 income??? Right now I bounce around between different family members homes.

    Reply
    • Amanda Flitter

       /  July 31, 2013

      Conkey,

      People with zero income are eligible to apply for New Hampshire Housing’s Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program. More eligibility requirements and information about how to apply are on our website, but please note that waiting times are very long: http://www.nhhfa.org/rental-housing-apply.cfm.

      An alternative is our searchable Directory of Assisted Housing, which lists some rent-assisted properties across the state as well as local housing authorities: http://www.nhhfa.org/rental-housing-directory-assisted-housing.cfm. These properties and housing authorities may have their own applications and waiting times for their programs.

      If you have questions, please call our Assisted Housing Division at (800) 439-7247.

      Reply
  3. cperez

     /  August 8, 2013

    where would I apply for the NEW Hampshire section 8

    Reply
    • Amanda Flitter

       /  August 8, 2013

      cperez,

      New Hampshire Housing administers a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program that offers rental assistance. Eligibility requirements and information about how to apply are on our website, but please note that waiting times are currently nine years or more: http://www.nhhfa.org/rental-housing-apply.cfm.

      An alternative is our searchable Directory of Assisted Housing, which lists rent-assisted properties across the state: http://www.nhhfa.org/rental-housing-directory-assisted-housing.cfm. These properties may have their own applications and waiting times. The Directory of Assisted Housing also lists all the housing authorities in the state, which often have their own Housing Choice Voucher and public housing programs as well. We encourage people who are seeking assistance to apply to as many properties and programs as possible due to differences in waiting periods.

      211 NH is also a good resource for immediate needs and information about housing. You can dial 2-1-1 anytime, toll-free in the state of New Hampshire for information about available resources and services. They also have an online searchable directory at http://www.211nh.org.

      If you have any questions about our rental assistance programs, please call our Assisted Housing Division at 800-439-7247.

      Reply
  4. Cheyenne

     /  January 11, 2015

    My boyfriend and I are expecting, we live somewhere where we cant be when the baby is here. He currently is not working but is applying can we get on section 8 with $0 income currently? Is there anything else we can do? Im due in may, where we would live is pretty open if that changes anything. We would live anywhere from concord nh to Hampton nh/ Seabrook…

    Reply
  5. Alex

     /  January 17, 2015

    I live in rochester nh with my 3 year old son. would the waiting list be different for different areas?

    Reply
    • Amanda Flitter

       /  January 20, 2015

      Hello Alex,

      If Rochester (or if you are moving, the area where you are looking to live) has its own housing authority with a Section 8 program, then their waiting list would be different. New Hampshire Housing’s Section 8 waiting list is separate from the waiting lists of other properties and town/city housing authorities. We hope this clarifies things.

      Reply
  6. Katie

     /  March 15, 2015

    Hi I’m wondering I have been on the section 8 waitingist for 7 years and still waiting I’m homeless with 2 kids and have been for a long time just bouncing from friend to friend when should I be expecting a letter stating I’m up for a voucher?

    Reply
    • Amanda Flitter

       /  March 17, 2015

      Hello Katie,

      Please call our Assisted Housing Division at (800) 439-7247 and a staff member can verify your position on the waiting list.

      Reply
  7. Tina

     /  April 19, 2015

    I applied for all housing authority’s and section 8 in New Hampshire in 2007 when I became rent burden. In 2012 I lost my job. To know fault of my own, I was laid off. I found a job in 2013. My income is only 10,000 a year. I can not find an apartment with this income. I have been homeless sense 2012. I am a single adult no children. I thought housing authority’s are for rent burden and homeless people. It says it right on there application. Is there something wrong with this picture or is it just me. This year I have decided to send letters to the Mayor, Governor, News paper even the white house. Hud releases money’s to all housing authority’s to help homeless and low income individuals every year. So why am I still not receiving any kid of help from these agencys.

    Reply
    • Amanda Flitter

       /  April 20, 2015

      Tina,

      We agree that the long waiting times for housing assistance are frustrating. We cannot speak for other housing authorities, but currently all of our vouchers are in use. Unfortunately, there is not enough money to fund all people who need assistance, and the amount of HUD funds we have received does not allow us to add people to the program at this time. Please call us at (800) 439-7247 so we can discuss your situation and check your status on our waiting list.

      While you wait for long-term rental assistance, we also encourage you to dial 2-1-1. This toll free resource hotline can provide you a list of service providers in your area that may offer programs for emergency housing, homeless services, and basic needs. We also have some additional housing search options on our website, including a vacant unit listing of subsidized apartments and a Directory of Assisted Housing: http://www.nhhfa.org/rental-housing-search.cfm. We hope this is helpful.

      Reply
      • Like I mentioned, I applied for all housing authority’s this includes yours also. I got a P.O. Box in 2007 so that none of the housing authority’s could say they sent a letter and I did not respond. Too this date I still have the P.O. Box.

      • Amanda Flitter

         /  April 20, 2015

        Tina,

        If you call us at (800) 439-7247, a staff member can provide you with information about where you are on our waiting list. We cannot discuss specific application details on our blog as it is a public forum and we want to protect our applicants’ and clients’ privacy. You can also e-mail rentinfo@nhhfa.org with any questions or concerns related to your application.

  8. Tina Gaouette

     /  June 19, 2015

    Hello- My friend has section eight now and a 1br apt. her Daughter is 15 and will be staying with her every other week in summer and every other weekend in school year. Her Daughter needs to have her own bedroom for when she stays with her, per DCYF and she needs to change her housing to a two bedroom. How does she do this? ( SHe has no computer and no internet, I am asking on her behalf.)

    Reply
    • Amanda Flitter

       /  June 22, 2015

      Hi Tina,

      Your friend needs to contact her case worker or the housing authority that administers her voucher to report her changes and find out whether or not she could qualify for a change in her subsidy. If her voucher is through New Hampshire Housing, she can reach our Assisted Housing Division at (800) 439-7247.

      Reply
  9. Kimberly Mills

     /  July 18, 2015

    If I come up on the list top of the list but I have moved out of NH will I be able to use my voucher in the state I move to?

    Reply
    • Amanda Flitter

       /  July 20, 2015

      Hi Kimberly,

      Policies vary among housing authorities, so you will need to check with the housing authority where you submitted your application. (Please note that New Hampshire Housing has its own Section 8 waiting list and does not oversee other housing authorities’ programs.) Our policy states that if you are a resident of NH when you apply, you are able to take your voucher immediately to any other state, but we can only speak to our program. If you have questions, please call us at (800) 439-7247.

      Reply
  10. I have misplaced the notice I received with the phone number on it to call to remain on the waiting list. Where can I find that number?

    Reply
    • Amanda Flitter

       /  August 3, 2015

      Hello,

      Please call 603-310-9394 to let our Assisted Housing Division know you’d like to remain on the list. You will be sent a reactivation letter in response to your message.

      Reply
  11. jaylen

     /  September 6, 2015

    Hi I am looking to move to rochester nh I have section 8 it’s from mass in mass they currently do 1500 that includes my 30 percent how much does the section 8 pay approximately for a 3 bd house thank you

    Reply
  12. Lonica

     /  September 15, 2015

    Hello this is Lonica and deaf. I been apply voucher last years. I been waiting n heard from voucher house so why waiting? Let me know thanks

    Reply
    • Amanda Flitter

       /  September 17, 2015

      Hi Lonica,

      Can you please e-mail our Assisted Housing Division at rentinfo@nhhfa.org with your full name? A staff member will then get back to you about the status of your application. Thank you!

      Reply
  13. Shell

     /  October 8, 2015

    Hello,
    I applied to (sec 8) a few weeks ago because I am currently homeless with my three year old son and wasn’t sure what resources other than this were out there to help me. I checked my status of the application and I am on the wait list and was given an estimated 7 to 9 years before I even reach the top. Is there anything else that would be able to help me get into an apartment as soon as possible? I am starting my new job in two weeks and won’t be making enough money to afford an apartment myself since everything is so high up in prices and I don’t have the money for “deposit and first rent.” I live in Derry and am unsure of what my resources are. Thank you.

    Reply

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