Frequently Asked Questions - Applicants

Applications and Waiting Lists

How do I apply for the program?
Applying is easy. When a waiting list is open, print an application from our Website. Complete the form and return it to us by mail, fax, or email. If you cannot print our application, please call us and we will send one to you.

Do I have to have children to apply?
No! A family may be made up of one person or many people. You decide who makes up your family. Eligibility is based on income. You must be considered low-income to be eligible. (View Income Limits (PDF)).

Can I apply for more than one county or program?
Yes, but you must complete a new application for each county. Each county’s waiting list is separate from any other waiting list. If you want to apply for more than one area, you must complete the entire application for each county or program.

Why is each list kept separately?
When vouchers are issued in a county, it is for people who want to live in that county. If you apply for a county and are not a resident of that county, you will need to move to that area and live there for one (1) year when you receive a voucher.

What happens after you get my application?
Once we receive an application, we perform background checks as required by HUD, as well as calculate an estimate of your income based on the information on the application. Eligible applicants’ name will be placed on the waiting list for that county. Waiting lists are maintained by date and time of application. A letter will be sent advising you of your status. If you are denied, you will also be notified of the denial and given the opportunity to request and informal hearing.

What kind of background checks are done before I can get on the waiting list? Can I have a criminal history?
We check the National Sex Offenders website to see if anyone in the household is a lifetime sex offender. Lifetime offenders will never be eligible for rental assistance. We check circuit court records to see if you have been convicted of a violent or drug related crime. We look back over the last ten (10) years. We check a national HUD database to see if you owe money to a past Housing Agency or if you left a Housing program because of eviction. If your criminal history is not violent or drug related, you might be eligible for the program.

How long is the waiting list?
All of our waiting lists are long. When a waiting list is open, the wait might be 3 – 5 years until you receive a voucher. If the waiting list is closed, we anticipate that the wait for those already on the list could be as long as 6 years.

Why are the lists so long?
The lists are long because the funding for this program is limited. Congress determines the amount of money that is budgeted for the nationwide Housing Choice Voucher Program. HUD must then determine how much money is available for every Housing Agency running the program. The Housing Agency helps as many families as possible, using the available money. Each family receiving voucher assistance may keep their assistance until they no longer need it or they are terminated from the program. Once we allocate the money HUD gives us, we are unable to help new families. Families need to leave the program before we can offer that assistance to a new household.

I sent my application, update, change of address, or change of income and no one has contacted me. What should I do?
We are required to send you an application status letter within ten (10) business days from the receipt of an application. When we update the waiting lists, we try to send you a confirmation of your new status within thirty days of the deadline to return date listed in your letter. All updates and changes concerning your household makeup, income, and change of address are to be sent to us in writing. If you do not get a response from us within thirty (30) days, please call the field manager for that jurisdiction. Sometimes mail is lost and we do not receive your updated information.

I need EMERGENCY funding right now, I am about to be or am homeless.
The Housing Choice Voucher Program is not an emergency rental assistance program. We have no emergency funds. The City of West Bend has a waiting list preference for homelessness. If funds are available, homeless households receive assistance first in West Bend. If funds are not available, homeless applicant’s names are placed on the waiting list for future funding.

I have a voucher, but I do not have any money for a Security Deposit, does this program help?
No. The Housing Choice Voucher Program is a rental assistance program and has no money to help with Security Deposits or escrows.

When will a closed waiting list be re-opened?
No specific time period is set for this. We will address all the applicants whose name appears on our waiting lists before a list is reopened. When we reopen a waiting list, we must advertise in your local newspaper and tell surrounding Housing Agencies the list is open. We also send flyers to the local county Human Service offices and other social service agencies in the area. You can always check out website to see if a list has reopened, too.


Can I use my voucher to buy a home?
No. Neither WHEDA or the West Bend Housing Authority is participating in HUD’s home buyer program.

I own my own manufactured (mobile) home. May I use my voucher to help pay my lot rent?
Maybe. Recent changes in WHEDA’s administrative plan allow funding for qualifying lot rents. Check with your Field Manager to see if you qualify.

Horizon Management Group, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer.
We provide Equal Housing Opportunity.