Section 8 Housing in Austin

Call 512.258.5200

These are general guidelines only. We cannot offer legal advice. Contact an attorney with any legal questions

What happens after you apply?
Your application will be screened to see if you are eligible to apply.
If you pre-qualify: A letter will be sent notifying you that you have pre-qualified.
Your name will be added to the wait list and you must wait for your appointment letter.
The first letter will be the only one you will receive for some time. It could be six to 18 months or longer before you receive your appointment letter. The housing authority will not provide you your wait list status over the phone. This information is available with the receptionist at there central office or you can request this information by mail. They will respond to any written requests for waiting list information within a week. You can also e-mail status requests or any general questions to
A letter will be sent to you for your appointment when there are vacancies and your name comes up on the wait list. After you bring in all required documentation to your appointment, you will be notified if you qualify for the program. If you qualify for the program, the Admissions Department will invite you to an orientation session. At the orientation, you will either receive a unit (Public Housing) or be issued a voucher (Housing Choice/Section 8).

Last month my rank was higher than this month. Why does my rank on the wait list keep changing?
There are several reasons why your rank may have gone down on the wait list. One reason is because they give priority to disabled and elderly applicants on the wait list. So, an elderly/disabled applicant will be placed ahead of non-disabled/non-elderly applicants, even if they applied at a later date. Another reason is applicants who missed their interview appointments have 10 days to appeal being withdrawn. If they appeal and their applications are re-activated, they are placed back on the wait list based on their original date and time of application. This will cause the other applicants, who have not yet been invited, to be bumped a little further down on the wait list.

I submitted an application for public housing recently, but I don’t see my name on the wait list. Why not?
Please allow 30 days for your application to be processed and placed on the online wait list. Please remember that the wait list is updated only once per month online.

Why can’t I call and find out my rank over the phone?
For your protection, they do not release this information over the phone since they cannot confirm that the person requesting this information is indeed you. For your convenience, you can view the wait lists online.

I filled out a Consent form with my application so you can contact my doctor about my disability. How long will it take you to contact my doctor?
Allow 30 days for them to process your Consent form and send your doctor the required paperwork. Once the disability verification has been sent to your doctor, they will wait up to 30 days to receive a response from your doctor. If they do not receive a response, they will notify you in writing.

I need to update my mailing address. Why can’t I provide this information over the phone?
For your protection, they require any changes to your mailing address or household to be provided in writing only. You may go to their main office in person and fill out an Admissions Update form (be sure to have a current photo ID with you). Or, for your convenience, you can download and print the Admissions Update form . Once filled out, you may fax it to Admissions at (512) 472-2958.

I lost my birth certificate. I was born in Texas. Where can I get a replacement?
You can contact Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics, located at 1100 West 49th Austin. Their number is (512) 458-7111 or toll-free 1-888-963-7111. You can also contact City of Austin-Vital Statistics located at 601 Airport Blvd., Building C. Their number is (512) 972-4784. To order your birth certificate online or for more information, go to

I was born out of state. Whom do I contact for a replacement birth certificate?
You can contact to order an out of state birth certificate.

What is the interview for?
The purpose of the interview is to review all your information and determine if you qualify for the public housing program.

You will need to bring in the following items to the interview:
Birth certificates for everyone in the household
Social security cards for everyone in the household
Picture ID's for everyone 16 and over
Check stubs if employed
At least three child support stubs if receiving child support
Letter from the social security office if anyone in the household receives social security benefits
DPS criminal record for those 17 and over
Bank statements if you have a savings or checking account
After the interview, they will determine if you qualify for public housing.

What if I do not qualify?
They will send you a letter stating the reason(s) why you did not qualify .You may appeal this decision.

How to appeal:
If you decide to appeal, you would have to submit your appeal in writing within 10 days after the date of the rejection letter. If you do not request an informal hearing within that time, the decision will be final and you will not be able to apply for the same program for 12 months. If a hearing is requested, they will send you a letter notifying you about your appointment with a hearing officer. You will get your appointment letter within two to three months. If you miss your scheduled hearing the decision will be final. You may download and print the hearing request form here.

Once you qualify for the program, you will receive an invitation letter to attend orientation. You will watch a video, listen to speakers and fill out paperwork at the orientation. This is the opportunity for you to learn all about the program and have your questions and concerns answered. Once you have completed the orientation session, an apartment will be assigned to you depending upon availability. You will not be able to request the location of your apartment; you will be automatically matched to the first available unit.
If you have a change of address, then you must submit an address update in writing to the attention of the Admissions Department. For your convenience, you can download and print the Admissions Update form here .If you cannot be contacted at the last address submitted, HACA will withdraw your application from the wait list. You will have to reapply.
If you want to add a person(s) to your application, you must submit, in writing, the person's name, their date of birth, social security number and relationship to you.

Call 512.258.5200