These FAQs are comprised of some of the most common questions asked about housing programs administered by PBCHA.

What is the difference between Public Housing and the Housing Choice Voucher program?

In Public Housing, applicants are housed in properties owned by PBCHA, whereas in HCV, participants are housed in units owned by individual landlords, private sector agencies, corporations, and non-profit organizations, including PBCHA. Both housing programs are designed to assist participants in finding safe, decent, and affordable housing.

How do I know if a waiting list is open and how do I apply?

PBCHA advertises the opening of waiting lists in the Palm Beach Post, this website, and posts notices at each PBCHA Property Management Office.

If a Public Housing waiting list is open, instructions on how to apply will be provided in the notice advertising the opening of the list.

What if I have special needs?

Please advise our Occupancy Specialist if you need assistance accessing our services, and let us know if you need special features in your housing. 

How do I know if I am eligible to be on a waiting list?

Public Housing Program

In order to bring higher income families into public housing, the PHA has established a preference for “working” families, where the head, spouse, co-head, or sole member is employed at least 30 hours per week. As required by HUD, families where the head and spouse, or sole member is a person age 62 or older, or is a person with disabilities, will also be given the benefit of the working preference [24 CFR 960.206(b)(2)].

The PHA will also offer a preference for families who are homeless, veterans, disabled, victims of domestic violence, families who have been involuntarily displaced.

The PHA will offer a preference to any family that has been terminated from its HCV program due to insufficient program funding.

Housing Choice Voucher Program

The PHA will offer a preference for working families, where the head, spouse or sole member is employed for at least 30 hours a week. However, an applicant where the head and spouse or sole member is a person age 62 or older, or is a person with disabilities, must also be given the benefit of this preference.

The PHA will also offer a preference for homeless families. A homeless family is a household that is (1) living on the street, in an emergency shelter or in a transitional housing facility, or (2) is a client of a case-management program service for the homeless.

The PHA will offer a preference for displaced families, a family in which each member, or whose sole member, is a person displaced by governmental action, or a person whose dwelling has been extensively damaged or destroyed as a result of a disaster declared or otherwise formally recognized pursuant to Federal disaster relief laws.

The PHA will also offer a preference for veterans, the disabled and victims of domestic violence.

How long after I apply can I expect to receive a voucher or public housing unit?

The time it takes to receive a voucher or move into a public housing property depends on the amount of people on the waiting list, as well as the amount of units or vouchers available. It is impossible to predict how long a person will be on the waiting list; the process could take months up to years.

How do I update information on my application?

In order to update any information on your application, you must submit changes, in writing, to the PBCHA’s Central Office. Applicants active on the waiting list must inform PBCHA of any changes to the application within 10 business days of the change. To report changes, complete the Waiting List Update Form, and submit with a legible copy of your photo ID. 

Failure to keep information updated could result in the removal of the application from the waiting list. Only the Head-of-Household can make changes to the application Please note that the PBCHA sends out requests to your current address on file. If the mail is returned to us as “undeliverable” or “unable to forward”, you may be removed from the Waiting List.

May I add or remove others from my application?

You may add or remove individuals from your application by submitting the change in writing to our Occupancy Specialist.

How do I cancel my application?

You may cancel your application at any time by submitting the request in writing.  

Can I submit an application when the waiting list is closed?

PBCHA only accepts applications when the waiting list is open. 

I am not on the Waiting List. I still need affordable housing. What should I do?

You may visit for information on finding affordable housing. If you need immediate assitance, please call 2-1-1 to reach the United Way Helpline. 

If I am denied admission into the Housing Choice Voucher program or the Public Housin program, what can I do?

If your application for admission into PBCHA's housing programs is denied, you will receive a notice of denial from PBCHA, indicating that you may request an informal hearing to dispute the denial. As an applicant, you have the right to bring legal counsel or other representative; ask to review documentation prior to the informal reivew, and have witnesses attend to speak on your behalf. 

I applied to a waiting list with another housing authority. Are housing authorities affiliated?

Each housing authoity is independently managed, and has its own waiting lists.