PART II: MANAGING THE WAITING LIST 4-II.A. OVERVIEW The GFHA must have policies regarding various aspects of organizing and managing the waiting list of applicant families. This includes opening the list to new applicants, closing the list to new applicants, notifying the public of waiting list openings and closings, updating waiting list information, purging the list of families that are no longer interested in or eligible for assistance, as well as conducting outreach to ensure a sufficient number of applicants.
In addition, HUD imposes requirements on how a PHA may structure its waiting list and how families must be treated if they apply for assistance from a PHA that administers more than one assisted housing program.
4-II.B. ORGANIZATION OF THE WAITING LIST [24 CFR 982.204 and 205] The GFHA’s HCV waiting list must be organized in such a manner to allow the HA to accurately identify and select families for assistance in the proper order, according to the admissions policies described in this plan.
The waiting list must contain the following information for each applicant listed:
Family unit size;
Date and time of application;
Qualification for any local preference;
Racial or ethnic designation of the head of household.
HUD requires the GFHA to maintain a single waiting list for the HCV program unless it serves more than one county or municipality. Such HAs are permitted, but not required, to maintain a separate waiting list for each county or municipality served.
GFHA Policy The GFHA will maintain a single waiting list for the HCV program.
HUD directs that a family that applies for assistance from the HCV program must be offered the opportunity to be placed on the waiting list for any public housing, project-based voucher or moderate rehabilitation program the PHA operates if 1) the other programs’ waiting lists are open, and 2) the family is qualified for the other programs.
HUD permits, but does not require, that PHAs maintain a single merged waiting list for their public housing, Section 8, and other subsidized housing programs.
A family’s decision to apply for, receive, or refuse other housing assistance must not affect the family’s placement on the HCV waiting list, or any preferences for which the family may qualify.
GFHA Policy The GFHA will not merge the HCV waiting list with the waiting list for any other program the HA operates.
4-II.C. OPENING AND CLOSING THE WAITING LIST [24 CFR 982.206] Closing the Waiting List A PHA is permitted to close the waiting list if it has an adequate pool of families to use its available HCV assistance. Alternatively, the PHA may elect to continue to accept applications only from certain categories of families that meet particular preferences or funding criteria. GFHA Policy The GFHA will generally leave its waiting list open.
The GFHA may, at its sole discretion, decide to close its waiting list.
Where the GFHA has particular preferences or funding criteria that require a specific category of family, the HA may elect to continue to accept applications from these applicants while closing the waiting list to others.
Reopening the Waiting List If the waiting list has been closed, it cannot be reopened until the GFHA publishes a notice in local newspapers of general circulation, minority media, and other suitable media outlets. The notice must comply with HUD fair housing requirements and must specify who may apply, and where and when applications will be received.
GFHA Policy The GFHA will announce the reopening of the waiting list at least 10 business days prior to the date applications will first be accepted. If the list is only being reopened for certain categories of families, this information will be contained in the notice.
The GFHA will give public notice by publishing the relevant information in newspapers of general circulation, minority media, and other suitable media outlets.
4-II.D. FAMILY OUTREACH [HCV GB, pp. 4-2 to 4-4] The GFHA must conduct outreach as necessary to ensure that the HA has a sufficient number of applicants on the waiting list to use the HCV resources it has been allotted.
Because HUD requires the HA to admit a specified percentage of extremely low-income families to the program (see Chapter 4, Part III), the GFHA may need to conduct special outreach to ensure that an adequate number of such families apply for assistance [HCV GB, p. 4-20 to 421].
GFHA outreach efforts must comply with fair housing requirements. This includes:
Analyzing the housing market area and the populations currently being served to identify underserved populations
Ensuring that outreach efforts are targeted to media outlets that reach eligible populations that are underrepresented in the program
Avoiding outreach efforts that prefer or exclude people who are members of a protected class
GFHA outreach efforts must be designed to inform qualified families about the availability of assistance under the program. These efforts may include, as needed, any of the following activities:
Submitting press releases to local newspapers, including minority newspapers
Developing informational materials and flyers to distribute to other agencies
Providing application forms to other public and private agencies that serve the low income population
Developing partnerships with other organizations that serve similar populations, including agencies that provide services for persons with disabilities
GFHA Policy The GFHA will monitor the characteristics of the population being served and the characteristics of the population as a whole in the HA’s jurisdiction. Targeted outreach efforts will be undertaken if a comparison suggests that certain populations are being underserved.
4-II.E. REPORTING CHANGES IN FAMILY CIRCUMSTANCES GFHA Policy While the family is on the waiting list, the family must immediately inform the GFHA of changes in contact information, including current residence, mailing address, and phone number. The changes must be submitted on the GFHA’s application site, or directly to the GFHA in writing.
4-II.F. UPDATING THE WAITING LIST [24 CFR 982.204] HUD requires the PHA to establish policies to use when removing applicant names from the waiting list.
Purging the Waiting List The decision to withdraw an applicant family that includes a person with disabilities from the waiting list is subject to reasonable accommodation. If the applicant did not respond to a GFHA request for information or updates, and the HA determines that the family did not respond because of the family member’s disability, the HA must reinstate the applicant family to their former position on the waiting list [24 CFR 982.204(c)(2)].
GFHA Policy The waiting list will be updated as needed to ensure that all applicants and applicant information is current and timely.
To update the waiting list, the GFHA will send an update request via email or first class mail to each family on the waiting list to determine whether the family continues to be interested in, and to qualify for, the program. This update request will be sent to the last address/email address that the HA has on record for the family. The update request will provide a deadline by which the family must respond and will state that failure to respond will result in the applicant’s name being removed from the waiting list.
The family’s response must be in writing and may be delivered electronically, in person, by mail, by email, or by fax. Responses should be postmarked or received by the HA not later than 15 business days from the date of the HA letter.
If the family fails to respond within 15 businessdays, the family will be removed from the waiting list without further notice.
If the notice is returned by the post office with no forwarding address, or if the email address is rejected as invalid, the applicant will be removed from the waiting list without further notice.
If a family is removed from the waiting list for failure to respond, the GFHA may reinstate the family if it is determined that the lack of response was due to GFHA error, or to circumstances beyond the family’s control.
Removal from the Waiting List GFHA Policy If at any time an applicant family is on the waiting list, the GFHA determines that the family is not eligible for assistance (see Chapter 3), the family will be removed from the waiting list.
If a family is removed from the waiting list because the GFHA has determined the family is not eligible for assistance, a notice will be sent to the family’s address of record as well as to any alternate address provided on the initial application. The notice will state the reasons the family was removed from the waiting list and will inform the family how to request an informal review regarding the GFHA’s decision (see Chapter 16) [24 CFR 982.201(f)].