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DCHA Waiting List Preferences

How does DCHA rank applicants on a waiting list?

Applicants are assigned a place on the wait list, based on preferences and the date and time DCHA receives a completed pre-application. Section 8 applicants & PBV applicants are placed on the waiting list based on a computerized random sort through a lottery process. 

What are wait list preferences?

Preferences help to ensure that people with certain needs or circumstances have first priority for housing assistance. Applicants with preference have their applications considered before those without preference. Preferences may be claimed at the time of application or at any time you are on a wait list. DCHA must receive certain verification in order to award a preference. Preferences are also re-verified prior to receiving housing assistance. Please refer to the DCHA Wait List Preferences reference sheet for details on the required verification documents to turn in to receive a preference. DCHA uses the following wait list preferences:

Residency Preference

Head-of-household, spouse, or co-head lives, works, or attends school or participates in a training program in Dane County. If you are homeless, and living in Dane County, you may be able to verify a Residency Preference by having a social worker complete and submit a Social Service Agency Residency Verification Affidavit.

Family/Disabled/Elderly Preference

Applicants who have a minor child in the applicant household; or the head-of-household, spouse, or co-head is 62 years of age or older; or the head-of-household, spouse, or co-head qualifies as a person with a disability. 

Rent Burdened/Homeless/Victim of Domestic Abuse Preference

The applicant family household is paying more than 50% of their gross monthly family income for rent and utility cost for at least 90 consecutive days; or the head-of-household, spouse, or co-head is homeless and living in a public or private facility providing shelter, a motel or hotel, or is staying with other people because they are homeless (doubled-up); or the head-of-household, spouse, or co-head is a victim of a domestic-related crime.

Involuntary Displacement Preference

Applicant familiy has been forced from their home within the last six (6) months as a result of a federally declared natural disaster (e.g. fire or flood) and currently not living in standard permanent replacement housing.

Where can I obtain assistance with completing the online application?

DCHA is not able to offer assistance in completing the online application during waiting list openings. Free access to computers is available at City of Madison library branches & Dane County library branches. The following organizations can provide assistance with DCHA applications:

Housing Navigation Services 

Services for Dane County residents who are currently experiencing homelessness.

Services at The Beacon (615 East Washington Avenue) & The Job Center (1819 Aberg Avenue), Monday through Friday, 9 A.M. - 4P.M.

Madison Senior Center

Services for seniors - call to make an appointment.

330 West Mifflin Street Computer Lab, Madison, WI 53703, Monday through Friday 9A.M. - 4P.M.

Domestic Abuse Intervention Services

24/7 Helpline 608-251-4445 | 24/7 Text Line 608-420-4638
Services for victims of domestic abuse.

2102 Fordem Avenue, Madison, WI 53704.

Joining Forces for Families


For help finding your closest JFF office, please call the Badger Road receptionist at (608) 283-1690. Use this link to find contact information for all JFF workers:

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