Chattanooga Housing Authority To Open Waiting List Lottery For Housing Choice Voucher Program

  • Friday, January 27, 2023

The Chattanooga Housing Authority (CHA) is opening a new waiting list for the Housing Choice Voucher Program through the use of an on-line lottery system.

The application period will open on Feb. 9, at 12:01 a.m. and will close the same day at 11:59 p.m. Applications may be made by smart phone or any location that has internet access by visiting the CHA’s website. The CHA will not accept paper applications.

Computers and online assistance will be provided at the CHA office at 801 Holtzclaw Ave. from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Feb. 9. In addition, they encourage interested individuals to visit public facilities where computer access is available, including area libraries. For individuals with library cards, access is free; however, for those who are not cardholders, a $1 access fee will be charged for use of the computer.

No matter what time of day the application is made on Feb. 9, it will be randomly placed into the lottery. On Feb. 16, at noon the CHA will post the 1,000 waiting list applicants in the order that they were randomly selected. For those not selected, a new application will need to be submitted when the lottery reopens.

CHA leaders said, “We appreciate the opportunity to work with private landlords in providing affordable housing to very low-income households. We know that stability and the road to sustainability begins with a place to call home. Landlords willing to accept vouchers for rent payments, are encouraged to contact Tammie Carpenter at the CHA.”

The CHA has provided the following information to those interested in applying through the lottery process for the HCVP:

1. What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

CHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, commonly known as Section 8, provides eligible very low-income households (“Participants”) with opportunities to live in rental homes owned by private landlords. Participants choose where they want to live, as long as the unit is approved by CHA through an inspection and determination that the rent is reasonable. CHA pays a portion of the contracted rent in the form of a housing assistance payment to the landlord on behalf of the Participant. The Participant pays 30% of the household’s monthly adjusted income or the monthly minimum rent requirement of $50, whichever is greater directly to the landlord.

2. How can I apply for the waiting list?

Application can be accessed online only at on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 12:01 a.m. and closes on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 11:59 p.m.

3. What happens after I submit the pre-application?

Following the closing of the pre-application registration period (Thursday, Feb. 9, at 11:59 p.m.), pre-applications will be selected for the waiting list using a computerized, random selection process. Once sorting has been completed, the applicants who have randomly been assigned numbers 1 – 1,000 will be placed on the HCVP waiting list. The remaining applications will be discarded. Those who are not placed on the waiting list will need to re-apply to our waiting list once we begin accepting new applications again.

ALL pre-applications – whether submitted at the beginning of day on Thursday, Feb. 9, p.m. or the end of day on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 11:59 p.m. of the pre-application period will be placed in random order by the third party software.

On Thursday, Feb. 16, at 12 p.m. (noon) EST the CHA will post the waiting list applicants in the order that they were randomly selected. Please visit our website at to see this list. A paper listing will also be available at all of our CHA public housing management offices and Central Office. The listing will be posted using a unique identifier (the first and last initial and the last 4 digits of the social security number of the head of household) that you will be requested to give at the time of application. .

PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU DO NOT SEE YOUR UNIQUE IDENTIFIER WITH A WAITING LIST NUMBER POSTED ON THE WEBSITE ON THURSDAY, FEB. 16, THIS MEANS YOU WERE NOT SELECTED FOR OUR WAITING LIST. Your application has been discarded and you will need to re-apply to our waiting list once we begin accepting new applications again. You do not need to call our office for any further information if you were not selected and your name is not on the posted list!

4. What is a “Unique Identifier” and why do I need one?

The “Unique Identifier” is set up at the time of application by providing the first initial and last initial and the last 4 digits of the social security number for the head of household. You will need to know this information to identify your placement on our waiting list.

5. May I call the Chattanooga Housing Authority to find out what number I am listed on the HCVP/Section 8 Waiting List?

No. You may visit our website ( any time after 12 p.m. (noon) EST on Thursday, Feb. 16. If you do not have internet access, a hard copy of the waiting list will also be made available at all of our Chattanooga Housing Authority management offices, as well as our main office located at 801 N. Holtzclaw Ave., Chattanooga, TN 30404. You will need your “Unique Identifier” to research your placement on the waiting list. (see #4). The waiting list will be updated periodically as vouchers become available.

6. How many pre-applications may I submit?

Only ONE pre-application per registrant will be accepted. Submitting more than one application will automatically disqualify you from the waiting list.

7. Can I call CHA to obtain my placement on the waiting list?

NO. The list will be made available only on our website beginning Thursday, Feb. 16, at noon at

8. Can more than one person in my household submit a pre-application for the waiting list?

Yes. Each registrant, however, must be 18 years of age or older or be an emancipated minor in accordance with the laws of the state of Tennessee.

9. What are the admissions requirements for an applicant to be admitted into the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

Eligibility for a housing voucher is determined by the CHA at time of selection from the waiting list and is based on the following:

· Income: The gross annual household income must not exceed the HUD-determined Income Limits for the family size shown below: (gross annual income is before any deductions such as taxes, garnishments, childcare, etc)

In order to qualify for a housing choice voucher, your household income must not exceed the Very Low Income Limit determined by HUD annually. The 2022/2023 (FY2022) HUD Income Limits are in the table below.

2022/2023 (FY2022) Income Limits Summary - # of Persons in Household - Very Low (50%) Income Limits

· Eligible Family Member: At least one family member must be a U.S. Citizen or Eligible Immigrant.

· Criminal History: All family members age sixteen (16) and over will receive criminal history reviews.

· Prior tenancy with Low-Income Housing and/or Housing Choice Voucher Programs will be checked for evictions, vacate without notice, bad debts, damages and other non-compliance issues that may have led to termination of rental subsidy. IF YOU WERE EVICTED FROM PUBLIC HOUSING OR TERMINATED FROM THE HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM WITHIN THE LAST 5 YEARS, YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE AND WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE WAITING LIST IF YOU ARE CHOSEN. If your eviction or termination has been longer than 5 years then you may still be eligible.

Applicants who do not meet the basic eligibility requirements listed below at the time of selection from the waiting list will be removed from the waiting list. 

10. How do I change my address on the waiting list if I have moved?

Address changes must be made in person by the lottery winner with valid photo identification at CHA 801 N. Holtzclaw Avenue. Failure to provide a current address prior to selection from the waiting list will result in being removed from the waiting list. You will not be notified that you have been removed from the waiting list.

11. When I am selected from the waiting list, when will I receive my voucher?

Being added to the waiting list does not mean that you will receive a voucher right away or that housing assistance is immediately available. As housing assistance becomes available, CHA will draw applicants from the waiting list on a periodic basis.

Once your name is reached on the waiting list, the CHA will contact you via regular U. S. Postal mail or the email address used to apply inviting you to attend an eligibility interview. During the application process, the CHA will conduct a criminal background check on all household members aged 16 years or older. CHA will collect information on family income, assets, and family composition. The CHA will verify this information with other local agencies, your employer and bank, and will use the information to determine program eligibility and the amount of the housing assistance available.

If the CHA determines that your family is eligible, you will be required to attend a Housing Choice Voucher Program briefing and will be issued a voucher at the completion of the briefing if all information/documentation has been obtained to determine and approve eligibility for the program.

12. Can I apply for the Housing Choice Voucher Program Waiting List if I was previously terminated from the program or if I’m on another waiting list?

Yes but only if you were terminated rom the program more than 5 years from the date of application. You will not be prohibited from submitting a pre-application; however, when you are selected from the waiting list, your application will be reviewed in accordance with CHA’s Administrative Plan, which will include a review of your previous participation in a housing assistance program and related rental history.

13. Is there a cost to submit a Housing Choice Voucher Program Waiting List pre-application?

No. There is no cost to submit a pre-application. CHA will never ask for your debit or credit card or any other form of payment to submit a pre- application for its services. Additionally, please do not provide personal information to anyone claiming he or she can guarantee a spot on the waiting list, improve your chances of selection for the waiting list, or ensure that you will any receive CHA benefits.

14. If I want to apply for the Housing Choice Voucher Program Waiting List, but I don’t have access to the Internet, can I still apply?

Yes. If you require assistance in completing a pre-application because of a disability, because you require language translation services or communication in another format, or for other reasons, you may visit our office located at 801 N Holtzclaw Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37404 from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm on Thursday, February 9, 2023, for assistance in completing the online application.

15. Am I required to live in the City of Hamilton County to participate in CHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program?

You do not have to live in Hamilton County to complete a pre-application for the CHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program Waiting List. However, if you live in Hamilton County at the time you apply, you may relocate out of the county after your name is reached on the waiting list and at the time of voucher issuance. If you did not reside in Hamilton County at the time you applied, you must reside in Hamilton County for the first year of your participation in CHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program.

16. How will I know if I have been “denied” a housing choice voucher?

If you are denied a voucher for any the reasons listed above, you will receive a letter in the mail notifying you that you have been denied. You will be given fifteen days (15) from the date of the letter to submit a request for an informal hearing in writing.

17. What happens if my name is selected from the waiting list and I did not receive my eligibility notice and missed my appointments?

You will be given two (2) opportunities to attend an eligibility briefing and/or the voucher briefing. If you miss these appointments, your name will automatically be withdrawn from the waiting list and no other notification will be given once removed. You may reapply when the waiting list reopens.

18. May I appeal the decision to be removed from the waiting list if I missed my appointments?

Yes. You may come into the office and complete a “request for appeal” form or you can print it online and turn it into the office.

19. When will the Housing Choice Voucher Program/Section 8 Waiting List close?

Thursday, Feb. 9, at 11:59 p.m. EST – You may not apply after this date.

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