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HCV Waiting List FAQ

Safe, decent & affordable housing.

For information on the status of our waiting lists, please see the Waiting Lists page.

If a waiting list is closed, this means that the programs are still operating; however, due to the large number of families who are currently waiting for assistance, we are not accepting new applications.

There are many reasons why an application may be denied including, but not limited to:

  • Failed criminal background check
  • Previous evictions
  • Whether you or your household members owe any debts to us or to another subsidized housing property
  • Income over the federally-mandated income limits
  • Failure to appear for scheduled appointments
  • Failure to provide necessary documents or information for us to determine eligibility

All denials are based on the policies and regulations found in our Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP) for Public Housing and our Administrative Plan for the HCV program.  The SHA is prohibited by federal law from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, familial status, and disability.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher:  Families are ranked based on preferences and, within each preference category, by the date and time the application was received by our office.   

Following are the preferences used by the HCV Program:

  • Applicant who is involuntarily displaced from his/her home as a result of fire, disaster or government action.
  • Single or two parent household who resides in the City of Scranton where the head of household or spouse works or has been hired to work in the City of Scranton.
  • Head of household or spouse must be employed a minimum of 30 hours per week.
  • Head of household or spouse or sole member who is 62 years of age or older, or who receive Social Security, SSI or any benefits resulting form an individual' s inability to work will be counted as the equivalent to the second preference.
  • Head of household or spouse that has graduated from an education and/or training program that is designed to prepare individuals for the job market.
  • Applicant who is a victim of domestic violence.
  • Applicant who is homeless.
  • Applicant living in substandard housing.
  • Applicant paying more than 50% of income for rent.

We cannot provide any estimate of how long you will have to wait because your position on the waiting list changes every day based on other applicants’ changing circumstances. Thus, there is no way to predict how long it will take until we contact you.

After your application is placed on the Public Housing waiting list, you will receive a letter in the mail confirming that your application was accepted. It is the only correspondence you will receive from us regarding the status of your application, until your name nears the top of the waiting list. If you do not receive this letter in the mail, your application may not have been accepted.

You will be notified at the time you apply for the HCV program. You will not get a letter in the mail that your application was accepted.

From time to time we update our waiting lists in order to make sure we have the most current information about applicants and to make sure all applicants are still interested in being on the waiting list. We will send a short questionnaire to the most recent address we have on file for you. You will be required to fill out the questionnaire and return it to us by mail. Failure to return this questionnaire will result in your name being removed from the waiting list.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher:  When your name nears the top of the HCV waiting list, you will receive a letter in the mail asking you to come to the office.  It will contain a list of documents that you will need to submit. The SHA will verify the information you have provided.  You will be notified once we decide whether you are eligible or ineligible. 

If you are determined eligible for the HCV Program, you will be briefed on the rules and regulations of the program. At the briefing, you will receive your Housing Choice Voucher which will allow you to begin searching for a unit of your choice with a private landlord.

All members of your household must have a Social Security number or card. If you cannot locate your card, we will accept a printout from the Social Security office documenting your SSN.

Everyone in your household 18 years of age and over must submit a state-issued photo ID. There are no exceptions.

You may request to add or remove family members from your application. Any request to add somebody to your household must be approved by the SHA. All adult members will be subject to the same screening as all other household members. Any member of the household that you remove from your household is prohibited from living in the subsidized unit.

Yes! You must report any change of address to the SHA in person at the office where you submitted your application. Please note: reporting a change of address at the post office will NOT change your address with the SHA. You must update us separately.

Most of our communication with you will be conducted by mail. This is why it is extremely important to keep us updated with your current address. If a letter we send you is returned undeliverable by the post office, your name will be removed from the waiting list without further notice.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher:  Changes in your income may affect your preferences.  You should notify the SHA if you become employed or disabled since you submitted your application.  Other than new employment or disability, you do not need to report changes before your intake interview, but after your intake interview you are required to keep us updated.

If you no longer want to be on the waiting list, you must notify us in writing. 

No, you do not have to be a citizen; however, you must have eligible immigration status. At the time of the eligibility interview, everyone in the household will be required to declare their citizenship status and provide proof of identity. Non-citizens with eligible immigration status will be required to provide proof of eligible immigration status as well.

The income limits are determined by HUD and change every year. Please see the RESOURCES page for the current income limits.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher:   Your rent is based on your income. As a general guideline, you will pay between 30 and 40 percent of your adjusted monthly income as rent.

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