Seattle Housing Authority’s Housing Choice Voucher waitlist lottery to open Feb. 6

By Seattle Housing Authority

On Monday, Feb. 6, Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) will open a lottery for places on a new waitlist for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, formerly known as Section 8. These vouchers provide rental assistance for people with low incomes to rent homes owned by landlords in the private market.

Registration for the lottery will be available online only, and will be open from 8 a.m. on Feb. 6, until 5 p.m. on Feb. 24, Pacific Time.

Registration is only available at, not at any other website. Registration is free; if any website asks for money to complete registration it is not the correct site.

The only way to safely register and avoid misleading websites is to type into an internet browser.
The chances of being selected for the waitlist are the same no matter when households register during the open period. Once registration closes, 3,500 applicants will be chosen at random by computer to be placed on the new waitlist. Letters will be mailed by March 31 notifying all registered households whether or not they received a place on the new waitlist.

SHA will begin issuing vouchers in May 2017 to those selected. It will take two to three years to issue all 3,500 vouchers. People with low randomly assigned numbers will receive their vouchers sooner than people with higher numbers.

Registration is open to adults 18 years old or older or emancipated minors, no matter where they currently live, however successful voucher applicants will initially be required to use the voucher within the city of Seattle for a minimum of one year.

Only one person per household may register, and a household may only register once. Registering for the lottery is not the same as applying for housing; applications for housing must be filed separately. Households randomly selected for the waitlist will receive more information about applying.

It is important to have the following information ready before starting the registration process:

  • The date of birth and social security number for each member of the household;
  • Total annual income of the household;
  • An email address for confirmation of registration; and
  • A mailing address where the household can receive U.S. mail from SHA about the HCV lottery.
  • Registrants who are missing this information or are unclear, should call the HCV waitlist hotline at 206-239-1674, after it is activated on Feb. 6.

More information on eligibility and registering is available at Registration will be available on that page beginning at 8 a.m. on Feb. 6. Those who do not have access to a computer can use public computers at some branches of The Seattle Public Library and King County Library System, and other neighborhood sites.

A list of locations is available at or by calling SHA’s waitlist hotline at 206-239-1674, which will be activated on Feb. 6.

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