Philadelphia to Add 10,000 Residents to Housing Voucher Wait List

After a decade-long delay, the city is taking new voucher applications. But for recipients, a voucher doesn’t guarantee they’ll find housing.

1 minute read

January 10, 2023, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

City Apartments

Natalia Bratslavsky / Shutterstock

After clearing its waiting list for federal housing assistance vouchers, the city of Philadelphia will be accepting new applications during a two-week window between January 23 and February 5. According to Aaron Moselle of WHYY, the city will add 10,000 randomly selected applicants to the waiting list. 

Moselle notes that “Two thousand vouchers will be available immediately, but PHA expects it to take between three and five years to get everyone off the list before it reopens its rolls again.” The article continues, “Landing on the new waitlist will not guarantee anyone a place to live, only the opportunity to search for a landlord willing to accept the rent subsidy, which can be a daunting monthslong process in a city experiencing an affordable housing crisis.” Some Philadelphia residents report reaching out to hundreds of landlords over months before finding suitable housing.

Planetizen has recently covered the obstacles faced by voucher recipients, who in many cases wait years before receiving a voucher and then struggle to find available, affordable units. Last July, the city of Charlotte voted to ban ‘source of income discrimination,’ instituting fines for landlords who refuse to rent to voucher holders.

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