A flyer that reads, "EDEN's Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program" and "waitlist will be open from November 13 to November 15."
People who are low-income, disabled and between 18 and 61 years old can apply to the housing voucher waitlist beginning on November 13. Credit: EDEN, Inc.

The waitlist for a federal housing voucher will be open from Nov. 13-15. The housing choice voucher program is available through EDEN, a nonprofit that helps people find stable housing.

Filling out the application is the first step in the process. EDEN will approve 350 applications through a lottery system by Dec. 1. The last time the waitlist opened, EDEN received thousands of applications for the same number of slots.

Am I eligible for a housing voucher?

People with housing vouchers pay 30% of the rent; the voucher covers the rest. These programs have strict eligibility requirements. 

To qualify for a voucher, a person must be low-income, disabled and between 18 and 61 years old. 

Any person can apply, as long as at least one member of the household is eligible based on age, disability and income. A single person can also apply. Applicants do not need to currently live in Cleveland or Cuyahoga County.

You do not need to include documentation of your disability or income for the application. If approved, you’ll be asked to provide that information. 

Housing vouchers for people with disabilities

You or one person who lives with you must have a documented disability to qualify for the voucher. That means that a doctor must sign a form confirming the disability. In general, the disability must significantly impact major life activities such as work or ability to meet basic needs. People with mental as well as physical disabilities are eligible. 

If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), that counts as proof that you are disabled.  

Current users of controlled substances are not eligible, but people with a history of drug or alcohol addiction are. 

Income limits for the housing voucher program

The total amount that people who live in your house make has to be less than 80% of the median income for the area, which includes several counties. For example, a single person living alone can’t make more than $50,650 to qualify. The more people in the household, the higher the allowed income. The income for each person living in the household counts toward the total.

Hurry up and wait

People can complete the application online during the Nov. 13-15 window. Need help filling out the application? Contact EDEN at 216-961-9690 or edeninfo@EDENcle.org

Applications MUST be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 15. 

Lottery winners will receive an email notification with next steps in early December. This includes providing documentation of income and disability. 

If I make it on the waitlist, when will I get a housing voucher?

A few vouchers are available now, but the rest will be available when other residents no longer need them, according to Jacquie Skrzypiec, marketing and community relations officer for EDEN.

“We cannot give a wait time… However, we want to have a waitlist ready for when they do become available,” Skrzypiec wrote in an email.

What questions will be on the application?

You’ll need to provide basic contact information, including your name and email address. If you do not have an email address, you can create a free account at any public library.

You will also need to explain your current housing situation. If you do not have a stable mailing address, you can use the name of the shelter or type “No address, Cleveland 000000.” 

Other questions you’ll be asked:

  • Number of adults 18 or older who live with you
  • Number of children 17 or younger who live with you 
  • Name, date of birth, last four digits of your Social Security number, and how much money you make in one year. 
  • Name, date of birth, last four digits of your Social Security number and amount of money each person living in the house makes in one year.

EDEN also asks people to include demographic information (gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, etc.). This information is required by funders, but filling it out is optional. Your responses to these questions will not affect the lottery process, according to EDEN.

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Service Journalism Reporter (she/her)
Dakotah is a journalist and audio producer dedicated to untangling bureaucracy and providing power (information) to the people of Cleveland. She spent 10 years on the frontlines of direct service working with youth and system-impacted communities before receiving her master's in media advocacy from Northeastern University. Dakotah is part of the Community team whose mission is to listen and amplify the issues Clevelanders care about most.