Waitlists and Preferences

The project-based voucher regulations allow PHAs to establish multiple, distinct project-based voucher projects, which is very helpful in creating supportive housing.

If a PHA chooses, it can use the same waitlist for its tenant-based program and all of its project-based programs, but it is not required to do so. If you choose to have separate lists (which most PHAs do) you must offer to place applicants who are on the waitlist for tenant-based assistance onto your project-based waitlist(s). PIH Notice 2011-54 (HA) clarifies that this does not mean your PHA must send a letter to everyone on your tenant-based waitlist. This notice specifically states that, “PHAs do not have to notify each family on the tenant-based waiting list by individual notice. A PHA could notify these applicants by the same means it would use in opening its waiting list under 24 CFR §982.206(a).”

In setting up your project-based programs and waitlists, you have the following options. You may:

  1. Use the tenant-based waitlist for your entire project-based program.
  2. Merge a project-based waitlist with that of another assisted housing program.
  3. Create a new waitlist for your entire project-based program.
  4. Create individual waitlists for each project-based housing development.
  5. Create individual waitlists for sets of project-based buildings or units within individual housing developments.

In every one of these options, you may establish criteria or preferences for occupancy of particular units. PHAs may also take referrals from PBV owners and place those referred applicants on their project-based waitlist(s).

 

Preference for services offered
PHAs may not grant preferences to persons with a specific disability, but PHAs may give preference to disabled families who need services offered at a particular project. This is a very important distinction. The preference for families who need the services offered is limited to families and individuals with disabilities that significantly interfere with their ability to obtain and maintain themselves in housing and who, without appropriate supportive services will not be able to obtain or remain in housing; and for whom such services cannot be provided in a non-segregated setting. Although residents with disabilities may receive a preference because they need the services offered at a particular project, they shall not be required to accept the particular services offered at the project.

These guidelines lend very well to establishing an effective supportive housing program. Supportive services should be designed to address the needs of tenants and be engaging but not mandatory. For more information, go to the toolkit section on supportive services in supportive housing.

 

Go to the next section to learn about families' right to move.

Go back to the PHA Toolkit Homepage.

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