New York City Housing Authority


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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

  1. What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?
  2. What is the difference between Public Housing and the Section 8 Program?
  3. Can I apply for a Section 8 voucher?
  4. Who should I contact for information regarding the status of my application?
  5. When will the Section 8 waiting list be open to the general public?
  6. How long will my Section 8 application remain active?
  7. How long will I have to wait before I am called for a Section 8 interview?
  8. Why is there such a long wait for Section 8 Housing Assistance?
  9. Is there a maximum income that would make me ineligible for Section 8 housing?
  10. Is there a minimum income requirement for Section 8 Housing Assistance? 
  11. Is there a minimum age requirement when applying for Section 8 Housing Assistance?
  12. How do I obtain a voucher?
  13. What are Voucher Payment Standards (VPS)?
  14. How will I be notified that a voucher is ready to be picked up?
  15. When can I expect to be called for a Section 8 rental briefing?
  16. What should I do if I miss the appointment for my interview?
  17. May I start searching for a unit before I receive my voucher?
  18. Will NYCHA pay for my moving expenses, broker's fees, etc.?
  19. Can I apply for a Section 8 voucher if I am already living in Public Housing? Can I get a transfer from Section 8 Housing to Public Housing?
  20. If I or a family member has a criminal record will I/they be accepted into the Section 8 program?
  21. If I am not a United States citizen or I do not have a Social Security number, can I still apply for a Section 8 voucher?
  22. How much time is allowed to find a unit with a voucher?
  23. Am I able to extend my Section 8 voucher?
  24. How much will my rent be per month? 
  25. Can I rent a unit that is larger than my voucher bedroom size? 
  26. Who will assist me with my unit search? 
  27. Can I rent a unit outside of New York City with my Section 8 voucher? 
  28. What should I do if I change my address after I submit an application?

  29. What should I do if I have a change in family composition?
  30. What should I do if my housing situation has changed?

  1. What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

    The Housing Choice Voucher Program, also known as Section 8, is a Federal rental assistance program funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The program allows families to choose and lease safe, decent, and affordable housing. New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) administers the largest tenant-based Section 8 program in the United States. 

     

    NYCHA determines how much rent an eligible family can pay based on their income and the approved rent for the unit the family wants to lease.  Eligible families will be required to pay only a portion of the total rent to the landlord (generally, 30% of the family's adjusted monthly income). NYCHA will pay a rental subsidy, on behalf of the tenant, for the remaining amount of the total rent to the landlord.

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  2. What is the difference between Public Housing and the Section 8 Program?

    NYCHA's Public Housing Program provides apartments to eligible low-income families in over 334 developments throughout New York City's five boroughs. The Section 8 Program is an affordable housing option that allows eligible persons to use a NYCHA-issued voucher to rent apartments with private landlords throughout New York City's five boroughs.

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  3. Can I apply for a Section 8 voucher?

    NYCHA is not currently accepting applications. When NYCHA begins accepting applications, there will be a public notice and you may apply based on that notice’s requirement. NYCHA is not accepting emergency applications. NYCHA is currently only accepting referrals from the Veteran’s Administration (VA) for the VASH program.

     

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  4. Who should I contact for information regarding the status of my application?

    You can check the status of your application online, any time, using NYCHA's Self Service Application Status portal. Go to the “Applying for Public Housing” tab on this website. Click on the “Check My Application Status” link. You will need to create a username and password to access the portal.

     

    You may also call the Customer Contact Center, Monday – Friday, between the hours of 8am - 5pm, at 718-707-7771; as well as visit one of the walk-in centers in person to obtain information related to your application. 

    NYCHA's Customer Contact Center walk-in locations are:

    Brooklyn / Staten Island Customer Contact Center:
    787 Atlantic Ave., 2nd Fl.
    Brooklyn, NY 11238
    (718) 707-7771

    Bronx Applications / Manhattan Customer Contact Center:
    478 East Fordham Rd., 2nd Fl.
    Bronx, NY 10458
    (718) 707-7771

    Queens Applications Customer Contact Center:
    90-27 Sutphin Blvd, 4th Fl.
    Jamaica, NY 11435
    (718) 707-7771

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  5. When will the Section 8 waiting list be open to the general public?

    The Section 8 waiting list is closed. NYCHA has not determined when the Section 8 waiting list will reopen.

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  6. How long will my Section 8 application remain active?

    Section 8 applications do not expire. It will remain active until you receive notification for an interview.

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  7. How long will I have to wait before I am called for a Section 8 interview?

    There is no way to predict how long you may have to wait before you are called for an eligibility interview. The number of families reached for eligibility interviews depends on the availability of vouchers each year.

     

    As vouchers become available, applications are selected by a computer system from a preliminary list of applicants. Selection is based on numerous factors including, but not limited to, priority and application date. If you are found eligible, your application will then be certified to the Leased Housing Department who will invite you to attend a briefing session to obtain your voucher.

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  8. Why is there such a long wait for Section 8 Housing Assistance?

    The demand for Section 8 Housing Assistance far exceeds the supply. There are over 123,000 applicants on the preliminary waiting list.

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  9. Is there a maximum income that would make me ineligible for Section 8 housing?

    Yes. The maximum family income is based on family size. The income limits are listed here.

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  10. Is there a minimum income requirement for Section 8 Housing Assistance?

    No. You are not required to have a minimum income

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  11. Is there a minimum age requirement when applying for Section 8 Housing Assistance?

    Yes. You and your co-head, if any, must be at least 18 years of age.

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  12. How do I obtain a voucher?

    During the application process, NYCHA will collect information on your income, assets, and family size. NYCHA will verify this information with other local agencies, your employer and bank, and will use the information to determine program eligibility and the amount of the housing assistance payment.

     

    If NYCHA determines that you are eligible, your name will be put on a waiting list, unless the Authority is able to assist you immediately. Once your name is reached on the waiting list, NYCHA will contact you. The voucher is then issued to you once you have attended the briefing review. Please note that the Section 8 waiting list is currently closed.

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  13. What are Voucher Payment Standards (VPS)?

    The Voucher Payment Standard is the maximum housing assistance payment that NYCHA can pay on your behalf to the landlord.

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  14. How will I be notified that a voucher is ready to be picked up?

    NYCHA will notify you that you have been selected from the waiting list in writing. NYCHA will verify that you are still eligible for participation in the Section 8 program. If you are still eligible, NYCHA will send you a letter asking you to attend a briefing.  At the briefing, the physical voucher will be presented to you.

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  15. When can I expect to be called for a Section 8 rental briefing?

    You will be notified via mail by NYCHA approximately 2 weeks in advance of your scheduled Section 8 rental briefing date. At the briefing, you will receive your voucher with the start date and end date.

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  16. What should I do if I miss the appointment for my interview?

    It is important that you make an attempt to cancel your appointment in advance if you know that you will be unable to attend. If you miss your appointment, please call the Customer Contact Center, Monday – Friday, between the hours of 8am - 5pm, at 718-707-7771 as soon as possible to reschedule. You can also visit one of NYCHA's walk-in centers in person.

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  17. May I start searching for a unit before I receive my voucher?

    NYCHA cannot authorize you to search for a unit before your Section 8 voucher is issued.

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  18. Will NYCHA pay for my moving expenses, broker's fees, etc.?

    NYCHA does not pay for moving expenses or broker fees for Section 8 voucher holders or tenants. NYCHA will however pay brokers fees only in the case where a voucher holder, current tenant or a family member requires a reasonable accommodation due to a disability.

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  19. Can I apply for a Section 8 voucher if I am already living in Public Housing? Can I get a transfer from Section 8 Housing to Public Housing?

    Yes. You may apply for a Section 8 voucher even if you are currently living in public housing.  However, NYCHA is not currently accepting applications.

    If you are a current Section 8 tenant you can transfer to a Section 8 eligible apartment within a NYCHA development. You must register with the NYCHA Self-Service Portal first in order to be considered. Please contact the Customer Contact Center, Monday - Friday, between the hours of 8am - 5pm, at 718-707-7771 to request a “Voucher Holder Request for transfer” form (NYCHA Form 059.004) to be mailed to you.

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  20. If I or a family member has a criminal record will I/they be accepted into the Section 8 program?

    NYCHA must perform criminal background checks on all applicants 16 years of age or older. Approval/denial of an applicant with previous criminal activity depends on the nature of the offense. Admission into the Section 8 program is at the discretion of the Authority.

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  21. If I am not a United States citizen or I do not have a Social Security number, can I still apply for a Section 8 voucher?

    You do not have to be a citizen of the United States or have a Social Security number to apply for Section 8 Housing, but at least one member of your family must be a United States citizen or a non-citizen with eligible immigration status.

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  22. How much time is allowed to find a unit with a voucher?

    Section 8 vouchers are active for 120 calendar days.

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  23. Am I able to extend my Section 8 voucher?

    NYCHA may grant you one or more extensions of the initial voucher term which is 120 days.  NYCHA may also extend the initial voucher for an additional 60 calendar days (180 calendar days in total) for a family member who requires a reasonable accommodation to make the program more accessible.

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  24. How much will my rent be per month?

    Your rent is based on your the total adjusted gross income for your household. You will typically pay 30% of your monthly adjusted income toward rent and utilities. However, if the gross rent (rent and utilities) exceeds the Payment Standard, you may have to pay a greater amount of your income towards rent and utilities.

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  25. Can I rent a unit that is larger than my voucher bedroom size?

    You may rent a unit that is larger than your voucher bedroom size.  However, the portion of rent you pay to the owner cannot exceed 40% of your total household income.

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  26. Who will assist me with my unit search?

    NYCHA has a list of available Section 8 apartments on our website. Click on the “Section 8 Assistance” Tab, click on "Information for Tenants", under the Transfers section and click on the last link "List of Available Section 8 Apartments".

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  27. Can I rent a unit outside of New York City with my Section 8 voucher?

    You may rent a unit outside of New York City through a process called "Portability." You may request to "port" your Section 8 voucher to any other Public Housing Authorities in the United States or its territories (e.g., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands) that administers a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. t is important that you make an attempt to cancel your appointment in advance if you know that you will be unable to attend your briefing appointment. Failure to attend the briefing could result in your denial onto the Section 8 program.

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  28. What should I do if I change my address after I submit an application?

    You can update your contact information, such as mailing address and telephone number, at any time, using NYCHA's Self Service Application Portal. This will ensure that you will receive any mailings concerning your application. To access the portal, go to the “Applying for Public Housing” tab on this website. Click on the “Check My Application Status” link. You will need to create a username and password to access the portal.

     

    You can also call the Customer Contact Center, Monday - Friday, between the hours of 8am - 5pm, at 718-707-7771. You can also visit one of NYCHA's walk-in centers.

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  29. What should I do if I have a change in family composition?

     

    Please call the Customer Contact Center, Monday - Friday, between the hours of 8am - 5pm, at 718-707-7771 or visit one of NYCHA's walk-in centers to update information regarding your family composition.

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  30. What should I do if my housing situation has changed?

     

    You do not have to report changes to the amount of your income but you should call the Customer Contact Center, Monday - Friday, between the hours of 8am - 5pm, at 718-707-7771 if you are a one-person applicant and you have started receiving disability benefits. One-person applicants who are elderly or disabled are reached for an interview before one-person families who are not elderly or disabled.

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