Section 8 Waiting List FAQs

KCHA's Section 8 voucher program will accept applications from 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Apr. 5, 2017 through 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2017. The free application process will only be available online through the KCHA website. A random lottery drawing will be used to select 3,500 of these applications for the Section 8 waiting list. Any agency requesting a fee to assist you or who guarantees placement on the waiting list is fraudulent. Please report any such agency to KCHA. Learn more about the lottery process.

This FAQ can help answer your questions about applying for KCHA's Section 8 voucher program. If you have additional questions after reading these questions, call the Section 8 office at (206) 214-1300 during normal business hours - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

How do I apply for the voucher waiting list lottery?

You may apply any time between 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Apr. 5, 2017 and 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2017. The application is an online-only process; we will not accept paper applications. To start the application process once the application period is open, please visit and click on the appropriate link.

I don’t have a computer at home. Where can I go to apply online?

Any computer, smart phone or internet enabled device can be used to complete an application. Both the King County and Seattle Library Systems provide free access to computers. During the application period, KCHA will provide computer centers at the following locations:  

YWCA Greenbridge Learning Center in White Center
9720 8th Avenue Southwest, Seattle, WA 98106

Firwood Circle Learning Center in Auburn
313 37th Street Southeast, Auburn, WA 98002

Burndale Homes Community Center in Auburn
1044 18th Street Northeast, Auburn, WA 98002

Birch Creek Career Center in Kent
13111 Southeast 27th Street, Suite 226, Kent, WA 98030

Spiritwood Manor in the Bellevue area
1424 148th Avenue Southeast, Bellevue, WA 98007

Work Source of North Seattle and Renton also have computers available for public use.  Work Source North Seattle is located at 9600 College Way North, Seattle, WA 98103; Work Source Renton is located at 500 Southwest 7th Street, Suite 100, Renton, WA 98057.

Does it cost anything to apply?

No. Applying for the voucher program is always free. If you are asked for money, you are not on the KCHA website. The only way to submit an application for the voucher program waiting list is on the KCHA website,

How do I know if I am eligible to apply for the lottery?

There are five basic rules for qualification. To qualify, you must be able to answer yes to each of the five criteria:

  1. The head of household must be over the age of 18.

  2. Households must contain at least one member who has a disability; who is 62 years or older; or who is under 18 years of age.

  3. The household must be low-income. A household is considered low income if their annual gross income (income received before any taxes and/or withholdings are taken out) is at or below the amount in the chart below.  Note: For the purposes of this application, SNAP benefits should not be included in a household’s total income.
    ​Household Size  Income Limit
    1 person $48,550
    2 people $55,540
    3 people $62,400
    4 people $69,300
    5 people $74,850
    6 people $80,400
    7 people $85,950
    8 people $91,500
  4. The household must meet at least one of the following program preferences:

    Lack a regular nighttime residence, which includes anyone living outside, living in a temporary shelter, living in a car or RV, and/or living with family or friends in an overcrowded situation.

    Pay 50% or more of household income towards rent and basic utilities (basic utilities are electricity, gas, water, sewer, and trash).

    Need to move due to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault, and/or sex trafficking.

    Need to move due to unit inaccessibility, natural disaster, government intervention and/or hate crime(s).

    Currently live in a dilapidated or unsafe unit (i.e., a unit lacking proper plumbing or heating).

    Make less than 30% of area median income. In order to qualify for this preference, a household’s annual gross income must be at or below the amount in the chart below:
    1 person $19,000
    2 people $21,700
    3 people $24,400
    4 people $27,100
    5 people $29,300
    6 people $32,580
    7 people $36,730
    8 people $40,890
  5. Generally, the household cannot currently be living in government-subsidized housing. Exceptions to this rule are described later in this list of frequently asked questions

What information do I need to apply for the lottery?

The application form will require the following:

  • The name, relationship and date of birth for each member of the household.
  • Social security number and/or green card number for at least one household member.
  • Monthly income for the household (including wage income, benefit income, disability benefits, child support, etc.)
  • Information about your current housing situation.

In addition, it is important to have a way for KCHA to contact you for notification of lottery information. Please have this information available before you start the application process. The application form will not allow you to save partially completed applications (i.e., you will not be able to go back and complete a application you started earlier).  

Will I need a social security number to apply?

At least one member of your household is required to have a valid social security number or green card number (A-number) in order to apply. For adult household members (anyone over the age of 18) who do not have a SSN or green card number, KCHA will assign a unique ID number to be used in the online application. Please call (206) 214-1300 if any member(s) of your household will need a KCHA assigned ID number. We recommend calling before beginning the online application, since wait times may be longer than usual.

Who qualifies as an eligible non-citizen?

At least one member of your household must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen. An eligible non-citizen includes anyone living in the U.S. under one of the following citizenship/immigration categories:

  • Permanent resident status (green card holder)
  • Temporary resident status (not including student visas)
  • Granted refugee and/or asylum status by the Department of Homeland Security
  • Granted conditional entry before April 1, 1980
  • Lawfully present due to an exercise of discretion by the Attorney General for emergent reasons or reasons deemed strictly in the public interest
  • Lawfully present due to the Attorney General withholding deportation due to a threat to life or freedom

I live in transitional housing. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes. Because transitional housing is considered a time-limited program (there is a set date the family must be out of the unit), the family is not considered permanently housed and therefore is eligible.

I live in low-income public housing or am already on a voucher program. Am I eligible to apply?

Generally not. If you are currently in public housing or already on a voucher program, you will not be eligible for the waiting list unless you can document you are unable to stay in your current housing due to domestic violence, unit safety and/or inaccessibility, hate crime(s), government intervention and/or 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 this program, please call (206) 214-1300.

Do I have to live in King County to be eligible to apply for the waiting list?

No. However, if you do not currently live in the King County Housing Authority jurisdiction, you will be required to live here for the first year of program participation.

Can my family submit more than one application?

No. Only one application per family will be allowed.

How do I know if my application went through?

At the end of the online application, you will receive a confirmation number. This number confirms your application has been received. Please save a copy of the number for future reference in case any questions arise regarding your application.

How do I contact KCHA if I’m having problems with the application?

You can call the Section 8 office at (206) 214-1300 during normal business hours. Because we are expecting high volumes of phone calls during the application period, please be patient. We will respond to your questions as soon as possible.

Does my application date/time change my chances of receiving a spot on the waiting list?

Placement on the waiting list will be determined by random lottery after the close of the application period. Because KCHA uses a random lottery system, the date/time you apply during the application period does not change your chances of receiving a place on the waiting list in any way.

I need help filling out the application form. What do I do?

If you have difficulty with the application process, please contact our office at (206) 214-1300 during normal business hours. A customer service member will then help you with the application process. Please note: We expect a high volume of calls during the first couple of days of the application period, so application assistance may be delayed until the middle of the application period. This will not affect your placement on the list, because application date and time do not change your chance of receiving a spot on the waiting list.

I believe I have a disability. What is your definition of a disabled person?

In general, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that limits the ability to engage in any major life activity and that:

  • Is expected to result in death
  • Or is to be of long, continued and indefinite duration and substantially impedes that person's ability to live independently
  • Or for a blind person at least 55 years old, impedes their ability to engage in any substantial gainful activities comparable to those in which the person was previously engaged.

Areas of major life activity include: capacity for independent living; self-care; receptive and responsive language; learning; mobility; self-direction; and economic self-sufficiency.

I have a disability and need assistance completing the application.  Is there someone who will assist me?

Yes, the Housing Authority will have staff available to assist anyone who needs assistance completing an application by calling (206) 214-1300 during normal business hours. Because we are expecting high volumes of phone calls during the application period, please be patient. We will respond to your questions as soon as possible.

Will the application be available in languages other than English?

No, the application will only be available in English. However, if you need assistance in completing the application and you speak a language other than English, please contact the Section 8 office during the application period at (206) 214-1300 during normal business hours and we will arrange for assistance in your language.

The application form is running slowly. What do I do?

We are expecting a large number of applicants during the first days opening. Therefore, the application form may run slower due to heavy traffic. Please note: Applying early will not improve your chances of being selected for the lottery, because all households will have the same chance of being selected for the lottery regardless of when they apply during the application period. If the application is slow, please contact KCHA at (206) 214-1300 and we will check into the problem as soon as possible.

If I fill out the online-only application form, does this mean I will receive housing assistance?

No. The application will just give you a chance to be placed in the pool of applicants that will be used to select the list of 3,500 households that will be placed on the waiting list. We’ll send you a confirmation letter letting you know whether your household was selected for the list of 3,500 households, and, if so, your household’s position on the list. For that reason, it is important that you keep us informed of any change in your contact information (including phone number and mailing address).

When will I find out if I’ve been placed on the waiting list?

You will receive a letter from KCHA stating whether or not you were selected to be on the new waiting list. Notification will be sent by email (if provided) or US postal mail (if no email address is given) no later than May 31, 2017. You may also check our website for updates on the selection process. Please contact us if you do not receive an email or letter by May 31, 2017. 

Why are you using a lottery to determine positions on the waiting list? Wouldn’t it be fairer if the list were first-come, first-served?

We feel the lottery is the fairest way to give everyone an equal chance of receiving placement on the waiting list.

Could the application period close before Apr. 18?

Our application period will not close early for any reason.  It will remain open from Apr. 5 at 12:01 a.m. until Apr. 18th at 4:00 p.m.

How many total applications for the lottery will be accepted?

There is no limit to the number of applications we will accept. Everyone who wants to apply may do so, as long as they are eligible.

Are there other housing options available?

If you would like information about other housing assistance programs, please call 2-1-1 or visit our resources page to learn about other possible resources.

Main Office
600 Andover Park W.
Tukwila, WA 98188
Tel: (206) 574-1100
Fax: (206) 574-1104
TDD: (800) 833-6388

Section 8 Office
700 Andover Park W.
Tukwila, WA 98188
Tel: (206) 214-1300
Fax: (206) 243-5927