ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix to open Housing Choice Voucher waitlist for first time since 2016

Sep 5, 2023, 11:00 AM | Updated: 11:16 am

A "for rent" sign hangs outside a property. Phoenix will open its Housing Choice Voucher, or Sectio...

Phoenix will open its Housing Choice Voucher, or Section 8, pre-application waitlist Sept. 12-26, 2023. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — For the first time in seven years, Phoenix will open its Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) waitlist for a limited period this month.

The federally funded program, also known as Section 8, provides rental assistance to qualifying low-income individuals and families.

The City of Phoenix Housing Department will accept HCV pre-applications from 8 a.m. Sept. 12 through 7 p.m. Sept. 26.

It won’t be a first-come, first-served process. Instead, all pre-applications received during the 15-day window will be added to the waitlist afterward on a randomized basis.

Applicants don’t get screened for program eligibility until they are selected from the waitlist when vouchers become available.

What is the Housing Choice Voucher program?

“The Housing Choice Voucher program is a necessary and valuable resource for Phoenix residents,” Housing Director Titus Mathew said in a press release. “We are excited for the opportunity for more individuals and families to join the waitlist and have access to assistance in obtaining safe and stable affordable housing.”

Section 8 recipients generally pay at least 30% of their monthly income on rent and utilities, and the program covers the remainder of their rent.

Tenants are responsible for finding their own housing from participating landlords on the private rental market.

The city offers landlords a cash incentive of $2,000 per unit to join the program. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds the vouchers.

Phoenix hasn’t accepted new pre-applications for its tenant waitlist since 2016, according to the city.

How to pre-apply for Phoenix Section 8 rent assistance

The city says it takes about 10 minutes to complete a pre-application, which includes basic information such as mailing address, email, phone number, household members and income.

Submissions can be made online in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese Mandarin, Chinese Cantonese, Korean and Swahili.

In addition, paper forms are available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese Mandarin, Chinese Cantonese, Korean, Swahili, Arabic and alternate formats. Completed paper pre-applications can be dropped off at the city’s Section 8 office in a sealed envelope or submitted via mail, email or fax.

The drop-off and postal address is 830 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, AZ, 85034. Mailed pre-applications must be postmarked no later than Sept. 26.

The email address for submissions is S8waitlist@phoenix.gov, and the fax number is 602-534-4243.

There is no fee to apply to the program or receive vouchers.

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Phoenix to open Housing Choice Voucher waitlist for first time since 2016