We will continue to update this page with common questions.
Applying to the Waitlist
I applied to the waitlist. How will I know if I was selected?
I did not get placed on the waitlist. How can I get help?
Please sign up to get notified of future waitlist openings.
If you are currently homeless, dial 2-1-1 for Coordinated Entry. Coordinate Entry serves people who need immediate assistance with housing.
Sign up to be notified when other public housing authorities open their waitlist. Other nearby housing authorities include Pierce County Housing Authority, King County Housing Authority, Seattle Housing Authority, Bremerton Housing Authority, Housing Authority of Thurston County.
Why wasn’t I selected for the waitlist?
There are not enough resources to serve everyone who applied. Over 15,000 households applied for the waitlist. Of those 15,000 THA randomly selected 1,825 households to be placed on the waitlist. This is the number of households we think we can help in the next 2-3 years.
I was told I’m on the waitlist. What now?
You do not need to do anything right now. The most important thing to remember is to update us immediately if and when your contact information changes. If we need to reach you and do not get a response, you will be removed from the waitlist.
Update your information
Use our Waitlist Applicant Update Form to keep your contact details and household information up to date.
We contact everyone on the waitlist once a year to make sure they still need housing assistance. When we do this, you must respond, otherwise we will remove you from the waitlist.
You also need to update us if you need to add or remove people from your household or if anyone becomes disabled. This may impact the type of assistance you qualify for.
If you are unable to submit changes through the form or need assistance, call (253) 207-4400.
How the Waitlist Works
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.
When I get to the top of the waitlist, 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.
Our Housing Programs
What type of housing help is this waitlist for?
This waitlist is for two types of housing help:
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 waitlist typically 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.
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.