2020 Section 8 Waiting List & Lottery
We hope that this FAQ will answer any questions you have about applying for the King County Housing Authority’s Section 8 (Housing Choice Voucher) Waitlist Lottery. If we don’t answer your question here, please call the Section 8 office at 206-214-1300 Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM.
Download KCHA's frequently asked questions as a printable PDF document.
When is the Section 8 Waitlist Lottery open?
It opens at 7:00 AM February 12, 2020 and closes at 4:00 PM February 25, 2020.
How many applications will be accepted?
All Section 8 eligible applications submitted between dates and times noted above will be accepted (limited to one application per household). See Section 8 Eligibility below for more information.
If I fill out the application, will I receive a Section 8 Voucher?
Filling out the application does not guarantee that you will receive a Section 8 voucher. Your application puts you in a group of applicants from which we will randomly select 2,500 households who will be placed on the voucher waitlist. In addition, to receive a voucher, your household will need to be eligible for Section 8. See Section 8 Eligibility below for more information.
When will I find out if I’ve been placed on the waitlist?
We will notify you by email, text, or letter to let you know if you were randomly selected to be on the new waitlist. Notification will be sent by March 31. You can also check https://www.kcha.org for updates on the selection process. Please contact us if you do not receive an email, text message, or letter by March 31.
How do I tell KCHA if my contact information has changed after I submit my application?
If you need to change your contact information during the application period (February 12–25, 2020), you can log back in to your application and change it online.
If you need to change your contact information after the application period, you can change it online at kcha.org or by mail:
Attention: Section 8 Applications
700 Andover Park West
Tukwila, WA 98188
Notify KCHA as soon as possible if there are any changes in your contact information (like your phone number, mailing address, or email address).
How do I apply for the Section 8 Waitlist Lottery?
Once the lottery is open, you can find a link to the application at https://www.kcha.org/lottery, which will take you to WaitListCheck.com. The application is an online-only process. There are no paper applications.
Does it cost anything to apply?
No. Applying for the Section 8 program is always free. If you are being asked for money, you are not on the King County Housing Authority or WaitListCheck websites. The only way to submit an application for the Section 8 Waitlist Lottery is to access the link to WaitlistCheck through kcha.org/lottery.
What information do I need to apply for the lottery?
We are going to ask you for the following information in the application.
- For each member of your household: name, relationship to you, date of birth, Social Security Number (if applicable), race/ethnicity
- Monthly income for the household (including wage income, benefit income, disability benefits, child support, etc.). You will also need to provide your employer’s contact information, if applicable.
- Information about your current housing situation (like where you live and how much you pay in rent and utilities).
- Contact information (email, phone, address) so KCHA can let you know the results of the lottery.
Do I need an email address to apply?
No. You can use either an email address or a phone number to set up an account with WaitListCheck to complete the application. We strongly recommend that you provide an email address in your contact information, as this is one of the most reliable ways we have to contact you. If you do not have an email address, there are many options for creating a free email account, including Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook.
Do I need a physical address to apply?
No. You only need an email or telephone number so we can contact you with the results of the lottery. If you are placed on the list, we will need to mail you forms to sign when we have a voucher ready, so include a mailing address if you can. If you do not currently have a physical address, you can give an approximate address (a street intersection) or “N/A”.
Do I need a Social Security Number to apply?
At least one person in your household must have a valid Social Security Number to apply. If your household is selected through the lottery to be placed on the voucher waitlist, you will be required to disclose the Social Security Number (SSNs) for all of your household members—or document that a member has not been assigned an SSN—prior to receipt of a voucher.
How do I know if I submitted my application successfully?
When you finish and submit the online application, the status of your application on WaitListCheck will be “Submitted.” This number confirms your application has been received. If you haven’t completed your application, you can log back in to WaitListCheck to complete it before the end of the application period.
Does my application date/time affect my chances of being selected for the waitlist?
No. Because we use a random lottery to select households, everyone who applies has an equal chance of being selected for the waitlist. As long as you apply during the application period, when you apply does not affect your chances of being selected for the waitlist.
How do I contact KCHA if I need help with the application?
If you need help, call the Section 8 office at 206-214-1300 Monday to Friday from 9AM to 4PM. Because we are expecting many phone calls during the application period, please be patient. We will respond to your questions as soon as we can.
Note: We expect many calls in the first few days of the application period, so assistance with your application may be delayed until later in the application period. Please remember that when you apply does not affect your placement on the list.
I don’t have a computer. Where can I go to apply online?
You can use any computer, smartphone, or internet-enabled device to apply. Both the King County Library System and the Seattle Public Library provide free access to computers that you can use to apply. During the application period, KCHA will have computers for you to use at the following locations (check back for new locations):
KCHA Central Office, 9AM–4PM (206-214-1300)
700 Andover Park W, Tukwila, WA 98188
Ballinger Homes, 9AM–4:15PM (206-574-1243)
2200 N.E. 201st Place, Shoreline, WA 98155
Birch Creek, 9AM–4:15PM (206-315-4360)
27360 129th Place SE, Kent, WA 98030
Seola Gardens, 9AM–4:15PM (206-829-2465)
11215 5th Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98146
Spiritwood Manor, 9AM–4:15PM (206-315-4380)
1424 148th Ave. SE, Bellevue, WA 98007
Will the application be available in languages other than English?
The application will be in English, with the option to use Google Translate to translate it into the language of your choice. We know that Google Translate isn’t perfect, so if you need assistance in completing the application in a language other than English, please contact the Section 8 office at 206-214-1300 Monday to Friday from 9AM to 4PM and we will arrange for assistance in your language.
Am I eligible for Section 8?
There are five basic criteria to qualify for a Section 8 voucher. To qualify, you must be able to answer yes to Questions 1–4 and no to Question 5 below:
1. Is your Head of Household over 18 years old?
2. Does your Household contain at least one of the following:
- A person who has a disability?
- A person who is 62 years or older?
- A child who is under 18 years of age?
3. Is your household considered low-income? “Low-income” means your annual gross income (income received before any taxes or withholdings are taken out) is at or below the amount in the table below.
|Household size||Annual income at or below|
4. Does at least one of the following situations apply to you?
- Do you lack a regular nighttime residence? This could be: living outside, living in a temporary shelter, or living in a car or RV.
- Do you pay 50% or more of your gross household income towards rent and basic utilities (like electricity, gas, water, sewer, and trash)?
- Do you need to move because of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault, or sex trafficking?
- Do you need to move because your unit is inaccessible, because there’s been a natural disaster, because of government intervention, or because you’ve been the victim of a hate crime?
- Do you currently live in a dilapidated or unsafe unit? Examples of a dilapidated or unsafe unit would be a unit lacking proper plumbing or heating.
- Is your household considered extremely low-income? “Extremely low-income” means your annual gross income is at or below the amount in the table below:
|Household size||Annual income at or below|
5. Do you currently live in government-subsidized housing? Note: There are exceptions to this rule, described below. You may still qualify for a voucher depending on your situation.
Who is an eligible non-citizen?
To get a Section 8 Voucher, at least one member of your household must be a U.S. Citizen or an eligible non-citizen. An eligible non-citizen has either:
- Permanent resident status (green card holder)
- Temporary resident status (does not include student visas)
- Been granted refugee or asylum status by the Department of Homeland Security
- Been granted conditional entry before April 1, 1980
- Been lawfully present due to an exercise of discretion by the Attorney General for emergent reasons or reasons deemed strictly in the public interest
- Been lawfully present due to the Attorney General withholding deportation due to a threat to life or freedom
How would getting a Section 8 Voucher affect me under the proposed Public Charge Rule?
Unfortunately, the impact of the Public Charge Rule is not fully known at this time. Currently, implementation of this rule has been blocked by U.S. District Court rulings. If you have questions about how a Section 8 Voucher could affect your immigration status, we recommend talking with an immigration attorney who is knowledgeable about the regulation.
What is the definition of a disabled person?
You are considered to be disabled if you have a long-term or permanent physical or mental impairment that makes it difficult for you to do things like:
- Care for yourself
- Perform manual tasks
- See or hear
If you’re on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), you are considered disabled for the purpose of Section 8 Vouchers. Alternative methods of verifying disability are available for those who do not receive SSI or SSDI. This documentation will only be required from applicants placed on the waitlist for a voucher.
I live in transitional housing. Can I apply?
Yes. Since transitional housing is considered a time-limited program (there is a set date your family must move out of the unit), your family is not considered “permanently housed” and therefore is eligible for a voucher.
I live in Low-Income Public Housing or am already on a voucher program. Can I apply to be on the waitlist?
Generally, if you are currently in public housing or already on a voucher program, you will not be eligible for the waitlist.
You may be eligible for the waitlist if you can prove you are unable to stay in your current housing due to any of the following:
- Domestic violence
- Unit safety and/or inaccessibility
- Hate crime(s)
- Government intervention
- A natural disaster
If you are currently housed through Public Housing or a voucher program and are not sure if you are eligible to apply for Section 8, please call 206-214-1300.
Do I have to live in King County to be eligible to apply?
No. Applicants do not have to live in King County to apply for the lottery. They can live anywhere in the world and apply. Please note however that if you do not currently live in KCHA’s jurisdiction, and you receive a Section 8 voucher, you must live here for the first year of program participation. KCHA’s jurisdiction is anywhere in King County except areas within the city limits of Renton and Seattle, which have their own Housing Authorities.
Are there other housing options available?