Applying for Public Housing

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The Public Housing (PH) program provides rental assistance to qualified low-income families and is a federally funded program overseen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Applying for Public Housing through SLHA is always free. This site is available during the period the wait list is open. This is a very quick and easy process!  You may apply for a waiting list through any computer with Internet access. You may apply with a smart phone; however, it is recommended that you apply using equipment with a secure internet access.

Waiting list information is secure and accessed only by authorized SLHA staff with special login codes. Please follow the instructions below for applying to be on the SLHA’s PH waiting list. If you need to request a reasonable accommodation due to a disability or need other help, you may contact SLHA for assistance. You may check the status of your application once you have applied, via the Rent Cafe portal.


  1. Pre-applications must be submitted online at anywhere Internet access is available.
  2. The online pre-application may be subject to data transmission errors that may make the application incomplete. SLHA is not responsible for these errors.
  3. The following browsers are supported on Windows: Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome.
  4. When funding is available, pre-applications will be selected based on preferences. Families will be placed on a preliminary list and pulled to establish a Wait List.
  5. Each household may only apply once.
  6. Pre-applications with a tie in preferences will be sorted on the waiting list in date and time order.
  7. By using this online web application, you agree to the general conditions below.


  1. An online web pre-application is not an offer of housing.
  2. All online web pre-applications are subject to SLHA’s review and approval.
  3. Pre-applications can be received online anytime during the wait list open period.
  4. Please note that the one-bedroom and 0-bedroom waiting lists are combined. This means that an applicant who has applied for a one-bedroom unit may be offered a 0-bedroom unit. Refusal of the 0-bedroom unit offer without good cause will result in the applicant’s removal from the waiting list.
  5. Once you have submitted a pre-application, it is your responsibility to inform SLHA of any changes of address, income, or household composition. You may update your information in the Rent Café portal using your applicant registration number.
  6. Applicants will receive a confirmation number to acknowledge successful transmission of the pre-application.
  7. SLHA will determine family bedroom size based on it’s occupancy standards.

PH Application Process

Before you begin the pre-application, please have the following information available:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Social Security Number/Cards
  • Dates of Birth/Certificates
  • Household Income
  • Citizenship Status
  • Pen and Paper


  • When the wait list is open, click apply_now_buttonat the bottom of the page to begin filling out the application.
  • Read the preliminary application carefully and complete it fully.
  • Be sure to enter information into the application in all CAPS.
  • Check all preferences that apply. Please read “Definition of Preferences” to determine which apply to you and check all that applies. (Preferences will be verified)
  • All wait list openings and closings posted on this website and through advertisements in local newspapers.
  • Be sure to enter information in every blank. Do not enter any symbols or punctuation (like $ or ,). Do not enter the head of household’s name in the household member name section. Each name should only be entered once. Only enter whole dollars for income (no cents).
  • You must enter a valid social security number and date of birth in the format of mm/dd/yyyy when you apply online.
  • After you have successfully applied, you will receive a confirmation number. Print or record this confirmation number for your records. You may check your status on the wait list through the Rent Café portal.
  • When you reach the top of a waiting list SLHA will notify you by letter or e-mail of your scheduled eligibility appointment.  It may take a few weeks, a few months or possibly a few years depending on availability of units.
  • If you do not receive a confirmation number after you submit your pre-application, experience any other technical difficulty or have other questions you may call (314) 286-4390. You also can find answers to many of your questions on our Q&As page.


  • An applicant must qualify as an individual or family as defined by SLHA.
  • The head of household must be at least 18 years of age at the time of admission or an emancipated minor by a court of competent jurisdiction, consistent with Missouri law.
  • Family must have annual income at the time of admission that does not exceed the established income limits at the time of admission according to the maximum income by family size established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • Applicant and all adult members of the family must pass a criminal background check.
  • Applicant or any member of the family that has ever been convicted of manufacturing or producing methamphetamine on the premises of any federally-assisted housing or any family household member that is subject to a lifetime registration requirement under a state sex offender registration program will not be eligible for housing assistance.
  • Applicant and all members of the family must provide documentation of social security numbers.
  • Applicant and all members of the family must meet HUD requirements on citizenship or immigration status.
  • Applicant or any member of the family who currently owes rent or other amounts to SLHA or any other housing authority will not be admitted to the program until the outstanding balance is paid in full.

Maintaining Your Status on the Waiting List

If you are added to the waiting list for the PH program, you will be notified by mail when your name comes to the top of the waiting list or if we are updating our files. If you do not respond to our notifications, or your letter is returned from the post office, your name will be removed from the waiting list.

If you have a change of address or change in preference status, you must notify SLHA within 10 business days of the change. You must submit a Change of Information Form, in person at the development site that you applied for or mail it to, ATTN: Public Housing, St. Louis Housing Authority, 3520 Page Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63106.

Reasonable Accommodation

If you are a person with disabilities and require a reasonable accommodation, or have extenuating circumstances that prevent you from applying online, paper applications are available. Verification that an applicant qualifies for a reasonable accommodation must be attached to the paper application. Please note that a confirmation number will not be provided to applicants submitting a paper application, and the SLHA will not be responsible for postal delivery delays or errors.


SLHA does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, marital status, familial status, national origin, age, pregnancy, disability, ancestry, or sexual orientation in the access to, admission into, or employment in, housing programs or activities.


Public Housing Waiting List Preferences 
Public Housing Income Limits
Fraud Warning
Public Housing Q&As

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