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Waiting List Preferences

Seattle Housing Authority gives preference to some people on its waiting lists. Applicants with preference have their applications considered before those that do not.

Having preference affects the order in which your application is considered—it does not determine whether or not you will receive assistance. All applicants have to meet other requirements to receive assistance, regardless of their preference status.

Low Income Public Housing preferences

Households meeting Seattle Housing Authority's definitions of "homeless" and "extremely low-income" will receive preference.


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 serving the homeless, or (3) has met one of these conditions within the 12 month period prior to their eligibility determination, is considered homeless.

Extremely low-income

A household that (1) earns 30 percent of area median income or less, or (2) earned 30 percent of area median income or less during the 12 months prior to the eligibility determination, is considered extremely low-income.

The limits listed below are current as of March 2016, but may change without notice:

Family size Income limit
1 $19,000
2 $21,700
3 $24,400
4 $27,100
5 $29,300
6 $32,580
7 $36,730
8 $40,890
9 $45,050
10 $49,210

Assets—money, property, and other goods having value—are taken into account when calculating income. The actual value of assets is not included, but income created from assets is. If you have money in a savings account, for example, that money will not be added to your income. However, if you earn interest from the money in your account, the interest will be considered part of your annual income.

Seattle Senior Housing Program preferences

Elderly and disabled Seattle Senior Housing Program applicants living in Seattle receive preference.

Other affordable housing preferences

A household that earns 30 percent of area median income or less is considered extremely low-income. Extremely low-income households receive preference for some Impact Property Management / Special Portfolio properties.