Applying for Assistance

Current Waiting List Status

The waiting list for Section 8 Vouchers and Public Housing has been closed as of 5:00 pm on September 1, 2011.

Applications are currently being accepted for Project-Based Voucher Rental Assistance. To apply for the Project-Based Voucher program, download an Application for Rental Assistance.

Applicants who have already applied for rental assistance must report changes, in writing, as they occur.  To report a change, download the Update Application.


How the Waiting List Works

When an applicant completes an Application for Rental Assistance, the Department of Housing Services (DHS) places the applicant on the waiting list for all types of rental assistance the applicant may qualify for.

The waiting list is ordered by date and time of application.  The Public Housing and Section 8 waiting lists also gives preference for applicants who qualify for one or more of the following preferences:

Rent Burden
Paying more than 50% of gross monthly household income for rent and utilities.

Involuntary Displacement
Applicant has lost housing due to a disaster (such as fire or flood), government action, or an action by a landlord beyond the applicant's control (not including non-payment of rent) - and - the applicant has not been able to obtain permanent housing since being displaced.  Victims of hate crimes, or people who fear reprisal for reporting criminal activity may also be considered involuntarily displaced.

Residing in Substandard Housing
Applicant lives in housing that is dilapidated, as cited by officials of the appropriate municipal code enforcement office, and does not provide safe, adequate shelter; or has one or more critical defects or a combination of defects requiring considerable repair; or endangers the health, safety, and well-being of family.

Applicant lacks a permanent, fixed, nighttime residence - or - is living in an emergency shelter - or - is living in a place not meant for human habitation (such as a car).

Disabled and Homeless
Applicant is disabled and lacks a permanent, fixed, nighttime residence.

Victim of Domestic Violence
"Domestic violence'' means actual or threatened physical violence directed against one or more members of the applicant family by a spouse or other member of the applicant's household.   The domestic violence must have occurred within the last 12 months, is of a continuing nature, or poses a continuing threat to the applicant.

Elderly or Disabled on a Fixed Income
Applicant is elderly (age 62 or over) or is a person with disabilities who has a fixed income that does not change significantly over time from one of the following sources: social security benefits, VA benefits, pension income, or permanent disability benefits.

Shared Housing
Shared housing is defined as an arrangement in which two or more unrelated people share a house or an apartment.  The applicant must be residing with at least one or more families in a housing unit designed not to be occupied by multiple households.


Single applicants who are disabled or elderly also have preference over single applicants who are not disabled or elderly.

When the applicant's name reaches the top of the waiting list, he or she is offered rental assistance from the program that is available: Public Housing, Section 8 Vouchers, or Kaybern Terrace.

The applicant may choose to decline the offer and wait for a different program.  However, if the applicant declines more than once, the applicant is placed at the bottom of the waiting list for that program.


Your Current Application Status

Current applicants may use our automated system:

  1. Call (503) 846-4794.
  2. Wait until you hear "Please select from the following options". 
  3. Press 1.
  4. Wait until you hear "If you have already applied..."
  5. Press 1.
  6. Wait until you hear "One moment, please".
  7. Press 1 for English.
  8. Enter your Social Security Number.
  9. The system will read back your Social Security Number.  If correct, press 1.
  10. Enter your Date of Birth in mm/dd/yy format.  (Example: January 1, 1950 would be entered as 010150).
  11. The system should then tell you how many waiting lists you are on and will then tell you the position of your application on those lists.

If the automated system does not provide you with this information, you may:

  1. Call the Application Hotline at (503) 846-3790 and leave a message with your complete name to receive written confirmation of your position on the waiting list. It will be mailed to the address we have on file for you.
  2. Or you may visit our office at 111 NE Lincoln, Suite 200-L, Hillsboro, OR 97124.  Bring photo identification so we may verify your identity.  Waiting list information will not be provided without valid photo identification.


Reporting Changes

You must report changes in your household, income, and mailing address while you are on the waiting list.

To report a change, complete an Update Application.

Note: Applicants must report changes in mailing address.  If we mail you a notice and it is returned undeliverable by the post office, your name will be removed from all waiting lists. 

If you do not have a permanent mailing address, you may use the address of a friend, family member, or agency; however, it is your responsibility to arrange for the use of another person's address, and the DHS is not responsible for returned mail. 


Emergency Assistance

The Department of Housing Services does not have any emergency assistance programs.  However, there are other agencies and organizations in the community that may be able to help you. 

Check our Community Resources list, or contact 211 Info by dialing 2-1-1 from any landline phone, or (503) 222-5555 from a cell phone.