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Waitlist Lottery Information

Lottery FAQs

The use of a randomized lottery ensures that all applicants have an equal chance for selection for the waiting list. 

Applications to be included in the lottery will only be accepted online at

Click here for a list of Durham County Library sites where computers are available to the public.

If you speak Spanish, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 919.683.1551.

What Is The Housing Choice Voucher Program? (HCVP)
The HCVP is the federal program for assisting very low-income households to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private rental market. Since this housing assistance is tenant-based, families choose their own housing. Participants in the HCVP pay approximately 30% of their income to their landlords and DHA pays the balance directly to the landlord.

How Does A Person Apply For The HCVP?
Due to high demand, the HCVP wait list is usually closed. When most of the names on the waiting list have been utilized, DHA opens the waiting list to the public through a lottery.

How Does The Lottery Work? 
The lottery is conducted online, with lottery entries only accepted for a limited period of time through the DHA HCVP lottery website, At the conclusion of the time period during which lottery entries are accepted, a random computer draw will take place from among all the entries. The lottery entries chose in this random computer draw will be place on the waiting list in the order in which they are drawn. Duplicate entries are eliminated, so no one has more than one chance at being selected. Each household member age 18 or older may submit an entry.

Can I Submit A Paper Entry Form For The Lottery? 
No. Only electronic entries will be accepted. Contact us if you need assistance completing the entry form.

What If I Don't Own A Computer? 
Any computer with internet access can be used, whether it belongs to a relative, friend or caseworker. You can also use any available computer at public locations such as public libraries. You can find a list of available public computer locations on the lottery website: or on DHA's website. 

What Are The Qualifications Needed To Receive A Housing Voucher? 
To be eligible, households must meet the following criteria:

  • Must not exceed current very low-income limits
  • Household members 18 years old and over must clear a criminal background check. In particular any drug-related or violent criminal activity in the past three years could make you ineligible.
  • Must not owe a debt to DHA or any other housing authority
  • Must not have any previous terminations within the past 3 years from assisted housing such as Section 8 or Public Housing

Visit our Housing Choice Voucher page to see more eligibility requirements.

What Are Current Income Limits for the Voucher Program? 

  • 1 Person
    • $28,250
  • 2 Person
    • $32,250
  • 3 Person
    • $36,300
  • 4 Person
    • $40,300
  • 5 Person
    • $43,550
  • 6 Person
    • $46,750
  • 7 Person
    • $50,000
  • 8 Person
    • $53,200

What Are The Criminal Background Limits?
The HCVP will check the records for each family member, 18 years old or older, for three years prior for criminal and drug activity. Admission to the HCVP is prohibited if any household member has ever been convicted of drug-related criminal activity for manufacture or production of methamphetamines or is subject to a lifetime sex offender registration requirement.

What Information Will I Need To Complete My Entry? 
Lottery entrants will need to provide their date of birth, social security number, address and general income information on the entry forms. It will also be helpful to include the date of birth, social security numbers, and income information for other household members.

How Long Will It Take Me To Complete The Entry Form? 
Approximately 5-15 minutes, depending on the number of family members in the household.

Once On The Waiting List, Will I Automatically Receive A Voucher? 
No, placement on the waiting list does not guarantee that you will receive a voucher. As vouchers become available, names will be taken from the top of the waiting and interviews will be scheduled to determine if the applicant is eligible for the HCVP. Once qualified, those households will receive a voucher.

Does It Matter When I Enter The Lottery? 
No. The order in which entries are received will not affect your chance of being selected for the waiting list or your placement on it. Every completed entry submitted according to the website's instructions will be entered into the lottery. Selection will be based on a random computerized drawing so all applicants have an equal chance of being selected for the list.

Can A Single Person Qualify For Housing Assistance Or Is This Just For Families? 
Yes. A single person is considered a family.

If I Have A Job, Can I qualify For The HCVP?
Yes. You can be employed and still qualify. Also, if you do not have any income you can still be eligible.

If I Was Terminated From The HCVP Or Public Housing Can I Enter The Lottery?
Yes, however depending on the date of termination and the reason for termination, you may be ineligible to receive assistance.

Can A Public Housing Resident Apply For The HCVP? 
Yes, a public housing resident can enter the lottery for a place on the HCVP waiting list. They will have an equal chance of being pulled in the lottery for the waiting list as all other entrants. Once on the waiting list, a public housing resident is subject to the same qualifications as anyone else on the waiting list.

If I Don't Live In Durham County Can I Enter The Lottery?
Yes. Residency in Durham County is not required for entry in the lottery or eligibility for the HCVP. However, those who are not residents of Durham County must lease a unit in Durham County for the first year they are in the program.

Are There Any Preferences That Would Help Me Receive A Voucher Sooner? 
Yes. There is a preference for applicants who reside or work in Durham County.

How Will The Winners Be Selected? 
After the lottery closes, the winners of the lottery will be selected through a random computer draw of 1,500 entries and place them on the waiting list.

What Happens If My Entry Is Picked In The Lottery? 
The DHA HCVP will send letters to all of the winning entrants advising them that their names have been placed on the waiting list.

What Happens If My Entry Is Not Picked As A Winner?
If your entry is not picked in the lottery, your name will not be placed on the HCVP Waiting List. You are welcome to enter the next lottery.

How Long Will I Wait To Be Qualified As Eligible?
It is impossible to estimate the length of time it will take for an applicant on the waiting list to be called in for qualification.

Durham County Library Locations 
Computers are available to the public. 

  • East Regional Library 
    211 Lick Creek Lane
    Durham, NC 27703
    Phone: 919.560.0203
    • Hours: 
      Mon. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
      Tue. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
      Wed. 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
      Thu. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
      Fri. 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
      Sat. 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
      Sun. 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

  • North Regional Library 
    221 Milton Road
    Durham, NC 27712
    Phone: 919.560.0231
    • Hours: 
      Mon. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
      Tue. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
      Wed. 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
      Thu. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
      Fri. 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
      Sat. 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
      Sun. 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

  • South Regional Library
    4505 S. Alston Ave.
    Durham, NC 27713
    Phone: 919.560.7410
    • Hours:
      Mon. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
      Tue. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
      Wed. 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
      Thu. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
      Fri. 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
      Sat. 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
      Sun. 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

  • Southwest Regional Library 
    3605 Shannon Road
    Durham, NC 27707
    Phone: 919.560.8590
    • Hours:
      Mon. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
      Tue. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
      Wed. 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
      Thu. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
      Fri. 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
      Sat. 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
      Sun. 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

  • Stanford L. Warren Branch
    1201 Fayetteville Street
    Durham, NC 27707
    Phone: 919.560.0270
    • Hours:
      Mon. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
      Tue. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
      Wed. 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
      Thu. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
      Fri. 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
      Sat. 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
      Sun. 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

  • Durham Housing Authority 
    330 E Main Street
    Durham, NC 27702
    Phone: 919.683.1551
    • Hours 
      Mon. 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
      Tue. 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
      Wed. 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
      Thu. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      Fri. 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Map showing the location of Durham within the state of North Carolina

Serving the City of Durham, North Carolina