Frequently Asked Questions for Applicants
The Housing Choice Voucher Program is a federally funded program that provides rental assistance to low-income households based on their income. The assistance is paid directly to the landlord once a lease agreement has been signed and the assisted unit has been inspected and approved.
The Housing Authority waiting list is currently closed. We are not accepting new applications, but when the waiting list reopens, we accept applications for a brief, defined period of time. When the application period closes, we select a certain number of applications utilizing a lottery system. Applicants that are selected during the lottery are placed on a waiting list. Unfortunately, we are not able to predict when our waiting list will reopen again. The decision to reopen the waiting list depends on our budget from HUD, and how many people are remaining on our current waiting list.
Unfortunately, we are unable to predict how long it might take for you to receive a Voucher once you're on the waiting list. We do not anticipate receiving any additional Vouchers from HUD. This means that we must continue to serve Thurston County with the vouchers that we currently have. We must redistribute those vouchers when current households no longer need the assistance or have been terminated from the program. This doesn’t happen very often, so we are unable to predict when we will be able to pull new people from the waiting list.
The Housing Authority will sometimes prioritize households based on targeted funding, meaning we have Vouchers that are dedicated to serve a very specific population. Types of targeted funding are Non-elderly disabled, Family Unification vouchers which help to reunite families that have children leaving foster care and housing is the sole barrier to reunification, and VASH vouchers to serve homeless veterans by referral from the Veterans Administration.
Excluding those priorities, households that meet a residency preference (residing or working in Thurston county) will be served with priority given to the following households:
- Elderly or Disabled
- Near Elderly: 50 and over
- Families with minor or disabled adult children and single pregnant women
- Single individuals or couples who are victims of DV or hate crimes
- Single individuals or couples who are victims of a declared natural disaster
- Families who are homeless
All emergency housing and shelter space in Thurston County is allocated through the County’s Coordinated Entry Shelter and Housing system. The Housing Authority does not have any emergency housing or services available. If you have an immediate need for emergency housing, please call Thurston County’s Coordinated Entry Shelter and Housing Hotline at 1-844-628-7343, or visit our Homeless Assistance page for more information.
There is no way to get served early, unless you fall into a targeted population, based on a particular funding source. You would automatically be identified as a targeted population, if you were eligible and would be notified accordingly. Otherwise, you are waiting based on your date of application and local preference.
To be eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher program, your adjusted income must be at or below 50% of the area median income for Thurston County. Income eligibility chart
The Housing Authority is committed to providing accommodations to allow equal access to our programs and services to all individuals.
Please ask for help if you are disabled and need help complying with your Housing Authority lease, or using our services. Perhaps you need us to modify a rule, change your Housing Authority-owned apartment, or change how we communicate with you. If so, we will do our best to accommodate you. To do that, we must determine (i) that you are disabled, (ii) that you need the accommodation because of your disability, (iii) that it would not cause the Housing Authority an undue burden or cost, and (iv) that it will not fundamentally alter our program(s). To ask for help, contact any Housing Authority staff person.
It's very important to keep your information current while on the waiting list. If you gain or lose family members, please update your information so that we can ensure you are on the waiting list for the appropriate bedroom size unit or Voucher. The income determination will be made at eligibility, so it's less important to update income information.
To report a change, please complete the Wait List Change Form. Return the completed form mail, email or fax:
Housing Authority of Thurston County
Attn: Serah Stetson
1206 12th Avenue SE
Olympia, WA 98501
Fax: (360) 586-0038
You can be denied for any number of reasons.
If you are subject to a life-time sex offender registration requirement, you are permanently denied.
If you were ever evicted from assisted housing for manufacture of methamphetamine, you are subject to a life-time denial.
If you owe money to another Housing Authority, it must be repaid prior to being served and could be subject to denial.
If you have drug related or criminal history issues within the past three years, you may be denied.
If you are not income eligible or don’t meet eligibility criteria, you may be denied.
Program rules require that we third party verify most of the information that we collect.
We will verify income, expenses, assets, criminal history and any other items related to eligibility.