PHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Lottery Illuminates A Desperate Need for Housing in Philadelphia

PHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Lottery Illuminates A Desperate Need for Housing in Philadelphia


Agency continues to recruits Landlords

Media Contact:
Nichole Tillman, 215-888-2869; [email protected]

(Philadelphia, PA – February 9, 2023) The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) announced today that 36,767 people entered the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) lottery, Of those who applied, 91% of the applicants said they lived, work or were offered a job in Philadelphia.  Nearly 64.6 percent indicated they were either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless showing the need for affordable housing in the city.   The survey was optional and did not impact placement on the list.

With the application period now concluded, a computer will now randomly select 10,000 applicants whose names will be added to the PHA waitlist. Two-thousand people on the HCV waitlist will begin to get processed immediately receive vouchers if they are eligible and meet the HCV income guidelines. PHA will send out letters in early March informing applicants of their lottery status. The lottery began on Jan. 23 and ended at 5:59 pm on Feb. 5, 2023. PHA hopes to exhaust the new waitlist in three to five years.

“We want to thank our diverse community partners who worked hard to get the message out and helped to identify so many individuals and families who urgently need safe, secure and sanitary housing,” said Kelvin A. Jeremiah, President and CEO of PHA. “Frankly, we are surprised that more people didn’t apply, but this lottery clearly shows that thousands of families urgently need affordable housing in our city. Our focus now is to help the 10,000 people who were selected in the lottery.”

PHA continues to incentivize landlords to participate in the program to meet the demand. PHA has recruited more over 800 new HCV landlords since 2021 when it first began offering HCV signing incentives and other perks. It recently extended the landlord recruitment campaign until June 2023. Any property owner interested in becoming an HCV landlord should call 215-684-3875 or register online.

Currently, PHA houses over 19,000 individuals and families and over 44,000 household members under the HCV program. There are also over 5,200 active landlords under the HCV program, and 2,435 have qualified for financial incentives.

The HCV waitlist was closed in 2010 that list has been exhausted.

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 About the Philadelphia Housing Authority:

The Philadelphia Housing Authority’s mission is to open doors to affordable housing, economic, opportunity, and safe sustainable communities to benefit Philadelphia residents with low incomes. To learn more visit