Blog Post

A Look Back at Our April 2023 Waitlist Opening

May 2, 2023

Hours before the waitlist application window opened on Monday, April 7th at 9 AM, dozens of people lined up outside THA’s main offices along South L Street. By the time the waitlist closed two weeks later, 15,494 households made up of 36,222 individuals had applied for a chance at one of only 1,825 spots on the low-income housing waitlist.

From April 3-17, the waitlist was open to households of all sizes for the first time since 2015, and the applications offer a look at the scale and scope of the need in our community.

At a Glance

  • 15,494 completed applications
  • 36,222 people in households
  • 37.5 years is the median age of the head of household
  • $11,280 is the median household income

Household Size

Household SizeApplicants
16,482 (41.8%)
23,496 (22.6%)
32,361 (15.2%)
41,550 (10.0%)
5793 (5.1%)
6+812 (5.2%)

Household Income

AMI BucketApplicants
Extremely Low Income
(0-30% AMI)
11,575 (74.7%)
Very Low Income
(30-60% AMI)
3,412 (22.0%)
Low Income
(60-80% AMI)
367 (2.4%)
Not Low Income
(80%+ AMI)
140 (0.9%)
AMI = Area Median Income
More about income buckets

Households with Children

Children7,836 (50.7%)
No Children7,623 (49.3%)

Where Applicants Stayed the Previous Night

Where Did You Stay Last Night?Applicants
In a house or apartment I rent6,044 (39.0%)
With a family member or friend4,453 (28.7%)
In a place not meant for people to live
(like a car, abandoned building, bus/train station, or anywhere outside)
2,157 (13.9%)
In an Emergency Shelter or Transitional Housing
(including a motel or hotel paid for with emergency shelter funds)
1,158 (7.5%)
Other1,052 (6.8%)
In a hotel or motel not paid for with emergency shelter funds301 (1.9%)
Decline to answer281 (1.8%)
In a home I own48 (0.3%)


Not all waitlist applicants currently live within the Greater Tacoma Area. Although most applicants live in Pierce County, nearly 31% (4,795) of applicants reported living in other counties throughout Washington State, and 8% of applicants (1,259) live in different states across the country.

Tacoma6,163 (39.8%)
Pierce County
(outside Tacoma)
3,277 (21.2%)
WA State
(outside Pierce County)
4,795 (30.9%)
Outsde WA State1,259 (8.1%)
CountyCount% of US Total Outside WA State
Unknown WA County1232.6%
Grays Harbor260.6%

Head of Household

The heads of households who applied to the waitlist reported their language preference, race, ethnicity, sex, disability and veteran status.

Preferred Language

Preferred LanguageApplicants
English13,947 (90.02%)
English and 1+ other languages584 (3.77%)
Other languages963 (6.22%)
LanguageHeads of Household
Ukrainian293 (1.89%)
Russian248 (1.60%)
Spanish224 (1.45%)
Dari127 (0.82%)
Korean83 (0.54%)
Arabic76 (0.49%)
Samoan76 (0.49%)
Marshallese65 (0.42%)
Pashto61 (0.40%)
Khmer60 (0.39%)
Somali58 (0.37%)
Vietnamese57 (0.37%)
Farsi55 (0.35%)
Tagalog18 (0.12%)
Tigrinya17 (0.11%)


SexHeads of Household
Female10,736 (69.3%)
Male4,669 (30.1%)
Prefer Not to Answer89 (0.6%)

Disability Status

Disability StatusHeads of Household
Disabled5,859 (37.8%)
Not Disabled9,635 (62.2%)

Veteran Status

Veteran StatusHeads of Household
Veteran507 (3.3%)
Not a Veteran14,987 (96.7%)

Race & Ethnicity

The demographic information regarding race and ethnicity was compared to City of Tacoma data, indicated in orange.


RaceHeads of HouseholdCity of Tacoma average
White5,308 34.2%61.9%
Black or African American5,012 32.3%10.8%
Two or more races1,487 9.6%11.7%
Some other race1,213 7.8%4.0%
Asian885 5.7%8.8%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander669 4.3%1.0%
Declined to answer581 3.7%
American Indian and Alaska Native345 2.2%1.9%


EthnicityHeads of HouseholdCity of Tacoma Average
Not Hispanic or Latino13,556 (87.5%)87.8%
Hispanic or Latino1452 (9.4%)12.2%
Declined to Answer486 (3.1%)