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What are waiting list preferences and how do they affect me?

Since the demand for housing assistance often exceeds the limited resources available to HUD and the local housing agencies, long waiting periods are common. Housing agencies may establish local preferences for selecting applicants from its waiting list in order to prioritize the most at risk families such as the homeless, victims of domestic violence and natural disasters or other groups such as local residents and veterans. Families who qualify for any local preferences move ahead of other families on the waiting list who do not qualify for any preference. Each PHA has the discretion to establish local preferences to reflect the housing needs and priorities of its particular community. The PHA may also limit the number of applicants that may qualify for any local preference.

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