We will continue to update this page with common questions.
Applying to the Waitlist
I want to apply to the waitlist. What should I do?
Our next waitlist opening is from April 3, 2023 to April 17, 2023, for all household sizes.
Do not use any other website to apply. Some fake sites charge money for what they say is a way to apply. These sites are put up to cheat you. There is no charge to apply for our waitlist.
When do we accept applications?
You must apply between 9 AM Monday, April 3 and 4 PM Monday, April 17, 2023. When you apply during this period does not affect your chances of being added to the waitlist or where you are placed on the waitlist.
We generally accept applications to our waitlist about every two years. We wait after each opening until the waitlist gets shorter before adding more people to it.
How do I apply?
There are three ways to apply:
- Online: Apply online at tacomahousing.org/waitlist. This is the best and fastest way to apply.
- In-Person: Apply in-person using one of our tablets or computers at one of the following locations:
- THA Main Offices – 902 S L Street, Tacoma 98405
- Salishan Family Investment Center – 1724 E 44th Street, Tacoma 98404
- Bay Terrace – 2550 S G Street, Tacoma 98405
- Phone: Call (253) 448-2738, Monday-Friday, 9 AM – 4 PM
How the Waitlist Works
If I get on the waitlist, where on the waitlist will I end up?
Once we randomly select the names for the waitlist, we will then randomly number them to decide their position on the list.
I am already on the waitlist. Where am I on the waitlist?
THA is not able to provide an estimate of when you may receive housing help. We hope to make an offer of housing help within two years to everyone on the list. For some household sizes, it may take longer than that.
The most important thing to do is to keep your address (if you have one) and your contact information updated for when your name comes to the top of the list.
What happens when my name comes to the top of the waitlist?
THA will contact you to complete the process. This will involve eligibility verification to ensure you still qualify for assistance.
It is very important that you notify THA about any changes to your household composition and contact information while you wait for assistance. If we are unable to reach you, your name will be removed from the list.
If I get on the waitlist and then get to the top of it, am I guaranteed to get housing assistance?
No. When you get to the top of the list, we check to make sure you are eligible under our program rules.
I’m already on the waitlist. Do I need to apply again?
If you are already on the waitlist, then you do not need to reapply. To make sure you are on the list, you can email email@example.com.
If you are on the waitlist, make sure to keep your contact info and household information up to date for when your name gets to the top of the list.
What do I do if I move while I am on the waitlist?
Submit a waitlist update form with our THA administrative office.
Will I improve my chances of being selected if I apply multiple times?
No, we will only count one of your applications.
Can I apply if I don’t have a Social Security number?
Yes. You can apply for the waitlist without a Social Security number. However, at least one person in the household will need to have a Social Security number by the time you reach the top of the waitlist. That person does not need to be the Head of Household; they can be a child.
If I do not get on the waitlist, what can I do?
We are very sorry that we cannot serve everyone. If you do not get on the waitlist, here are some other steps you can take:
- Apply again the next time we open our waitlist. That will probably be in another two or three years. You can sign up to get notified.
- Apply for Pierce County Housing Authority’s waitlist
- If you are currently experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness in Pierce County, call 2-1-1 to connect with United Way of Pierce County, or visit wa211.org.
Our Housing Programs
What type of housing help is this waitlist for?
This waitlist is for two types of housing help:
- Tacoma Housing Authority owned apartments
- A Housing Choice Voucher, commonly known as Section 8.
Will I get to choose between a THA apartment and a Housing Choice Voucher?
Over the next year, most of our housing help will be offers to live at one of our apartments. If you are offered a Housing Choice Voucher, you may turn it down and continue waiting for an offer to live at one of our apartments.
If I get offered a THA apartment that I do not want, can I turn it down?
You can only turn down a unit offer if you have a good reason, or “good cause.” If you do not have a good cause, you can decline the unit and wait for a Housing Choice Voucher. You will not get another offer for a Tacoma Housing Authority apartment.
What is good cause?
An applicant may only turn down a unit for good cause once. Examples of good cause include cases where accepting our apartment offer would require the adult household member to:
- Break a lease;
- Quit a job;
- Drop out of school, college, an educational institution, or job training program;
- Take a child out of day care; or
- Take a child out of an educational program for children with disabilities.
We require documentation of good cause for unit refusals.
What’s the difference between a Tacoma Housing Authority apartment and a Housing Choice Voucher?
We own apartments throughout Tacoma. Some of these include, but are not limited to, homes at Salishan, Bay Terrace, and Wright Street Apartments. Some of our apartments are for households with or without children, others are for senior/disabled households.
The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) helps low-income households pay the rent each month to private landlords.
Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) Apartment
- Where you live: If you rent a THA apartment, we will offer you a specific apartment at one of our properties. You do not get to choose where to live. We do this so we can house more families and offer housing assistance within two years.
- Subsidy amount: At THA apartments, your portion of the rent is based on your household income. Typically, a household pays around 30% of their income toward rent.
- Time limit: There is no time limit for the assistance at THA apartments. Under present rules, you can stay in the unit as long as you need it and remain eligible. If you want to move, your housing subsidy does not go with you.
Housing Choice Voucher (HCV)
- Where you live: You can use your Housing Choice Voucher to rent an apartment on the private market anywhere in Tacoma.
- Subsidy amount: The amount of rent you pay with a Housing Choice Voucher is based on your household’s annual income. If your household income goes up, your share of the rent will increase at your next recertification (recertifications usually happen every two to three years). If your income is reduced, contact THA so that we can verify the change in income and recalculate your portion of the rent.
- Time limit: There is no time limit for the assistance you receive with a Housing Choice Voucher. Under present rules, you continue to receive assistance as long as you need it and remain eligible. You can move with a Housing Choice Voucher.
Learn more about our eligibility rules to see whether you are eligible to receive help.
How long will it take to get housing with THA?
That will depend on the program you are on and how quickly current participants leave the program. Our Housing Opportunity Program waitlist opens every 2 years, and those selected in the lottery may wait up to 2 years to receive assistance.
I’m homeless now. What do I do? Where can I go if I need immediate housing?
Our waitlist is not a way to get emergency help. Even if our lottery selects your application for the waitlist, it may take up to two years before you will get housing.
If you are homeless now in Pierce County, call 2-1-1 or visit wa211.org to connect with United Way of Pierce County, who can refer you to other community resources.
Pierce County Housing Authority also has their housing waitlist open. You may apply on their website.
What is Coordinated Entry?
Coordinated Entry is the best way to find out about most homeless assistance programs and receive assistance in Pierce County.
I’m already on the waitlist but need to update my information, add or remove a household member, or remove my household from the waitlist. Where do I go?
Please fill out this form. You may also fill this form out if you were removed from the waitlist in the last six months and would like to apply for reinstatement.
I have a question that hasn’t been answered. Who can I ask?
Please contact us at (253) 448-2738 or email firstname.lastname@example.org