Tucson to open Section 8, public housing waitlists Jan 3

Tucson will open its waitlists for access to city-owned public housing and Section 8, or housing choice vouchers, on Jan. 3 that will select potential recipients through a lottery-style drawing.

At 9 am on Tuesday, Tucson’s Housing and Community Development Department will open an online pre-application period for families and individuals to get the chance to be placed on a waitlist for either program. The first lottery drawing will take place after Jan. 24, but the pre-application period will remain open for drawings every month.

Applicants will be randomly selected by a computer to be added to the waitlists in the order they were selected. The timing of when an application is submitted will not affect the chances of being chosen for the waitlist.

The pre-application process will be available online at waitlist.tucsonaz.gov. Upon request, the housing department will provide interpretation services and paper applications available in large print and brail.

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In February, the housing department says it will begin to select applicants to determine their eligibility and complete the process to access a voucher. Eligibility is generally based on income guidelines.

The waitlists for housing choice vouchers and public housing has been closed for six years, and the city anticipates receiving thousands of applications. Tucson has about 5,200 vouchers available throughout Pima County that help individuals with low incomes afford rent in the private market. The city will also open the waitlist for the nearly 1,900 public housing units it owns.

Tucson City Council’s passing of an income discrimination ordinance in September may also help voucher holders access housing. The new rule prohibits landlords from denying potential tenants based on their source of income, including government-issued subsidies.

Arizona’s outgoing Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich recently ruled the city’s new anti-discrimination law violates state law that preempts municipalities from regulating the rental housing industry, but it’s unclear if incoming Democrat Kris Mayes will follow through with the action that could cost Tucson state funding when she takes office in January.

More information

For question on the housing choice vouchers or public housing, email [email protected] or leave a message at 520-791-5840. All calls will be returned within 24 hours of message received.

To access a list of in-person pre-application assistance sites, visit: waitlist.tucsonaz.gov.

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Contact reporter Nicole Ludden at [email protected]

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