THA's Wait Lists

THA's Wait Lists

Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) does not have nearly enough vouchers for all the people who need one. The need in our community is so great and our resources are too thin. As a result, THA must ask people to wait on a wait list. The wait list usually has thousands of families on it. Moreover, THA opens the wait list to allow people to sign up only every few years. Even then, we open it only for a few days at those times. Yet, thousands of people sign up in those few days. When THA is about to open the wait list it publishes notices in the local newspapers, at local community agencies and on this website. Once you are on the wait list, THA has some rules that we find necessary to manage the list properly.

It can take a long time to get on the wait list. It may also be a long wait once you are on it. While you are waiting you must do your part to keep THA informed of your address and any changes in your circumstances. THA regrets that all this is necessary. We wish we had more resources to meet the need. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about our wait list.

How long will I have to wait once I am on the wait list?

THA cannot predict how long it might take for an applicant on the wait list to receive a Housing Choice voucher. It will depend on how quickly and how many other families leave the program and turn in their vouchers. It is likely to be more than a year.

When I get to the top of the list, am I sure to get a voucher?

No. There is no guarantee or right to a voucher. First, when you get to the top of the wait list, THA must make sure you are eligible and suitable for a voucher. It will review who is living in your household and the income available to household members. It will review criminal histories. Second, THA will be able to provide vouchers only if the federal government continues to provide enough money for them.

What can I do while I wait for housing?

While you are waiting, you can consult other places for housing assistance. Here are some links that may be helpful:

What kinds of changes do I need to report while on the wait list?

While you are on the wait list, it is very important that you keep THA informed about your address and any changes in your circumstances. You must do this in writing. This allows THA to contact you when your name comes to the top of the list. It also allows THA to put you in the right place on the list. If you do not do this, you may lose your place on the wait list.

THA will also send you a notice every now and then to confirm your continuing interest in a voucher. THA will remove applicants from the wait list if its mail to the applicant's address comes back as undeliverable.

Use this form to report change of address or circumstances:

Wait List Change of Circumstances Form [PDF]

Why does THA keep asking if I am still interested in housing?

Every so often, THA sends update letters to people on the wait list. These letters ask if the family still wants a voucher and is still available to use a voucher. THA does this to keep its wait list fresh and useable. It is very important that you return the information sheet that is part of the letter. If you do not THA will remove your name from the wait list.

What information will I need to provide when my name reaches the top of the wait list?

When your name comes to the top of the wait list, THA will contact you and ask you to come into the office. When you visit, you will need to bring the following information with you:

  • Valid picture identification for all adults over age 18;
  • Social Security cards for everyone in the household who has one;
  • Birth certificates or passports for all household members;
  • Income documentation such as pay stubs or award letters;
  • Documentation of immigration status (if applicable) such as a permanent residency card.

Citizenship or legal residency is not required for all members of the household. Only one member is required to be a resident or citizen of the United States.