Applicants can check the status of their housing wait list by contacting their local public housing agency, explains the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Contact information for local agencies is listed on the department's website, HUD.gov.
It's possible that the applicant's public housing agency provides information regarding the length of the application program and how long applicants may remain on the waiting list, HUD explains. Public housing programs generally have long waiting lists, up to three years or more, according to Northwest Oregon Housing Authority. There are several services available to assist with affordable housing for those that remain on the waiting list.
In order for an applicant to be approved for public housing, the housing agency must approve a family's eligibility based on set criteria, such as the size of the family, the assets the family owns and the gross annual income, HUD says. Usually, the gross annual income cannot exceed 50 percent of the area's median income. Applicants must also be U.S. citizen or meet certain categories of immigration status. The public housing authority is required to give 75 percent of its housing vouchers to families who make less than 30 percent of the area's median income.