Housing FAQs

What is the Difference between THA and Section 8 housing?

THA Housing refers to the 744 efficiency units of assisted housing that THA owns and manages on nine sites. Section 8 housing refers to a HUD program where income eligible families find their own housing and are assisted with their rental payments. (Rent is based on resident paying approximately 30% of the family income for rent, and THA paying the remainder). THA Housing and Section 8 are two separate and distinct programs.

How do I apply for Section 8?

First, a person has to complete a Pre-Application for Section 8 during the time the Section 8 waiting list is open.  
HUD funding determines when applications are accepted, so please contact us or watch our website for updates on the waiting list.

How do I know if I am eligible?

Standards for eligibility are established by HUD guidelines and THA’s Section 8 Administrative Plan.  These standards include whether a person qualifies for the “working preference,” income eligibility, and criminal history.

When names are pulled from the waiting list, applicants are screened for eligibility.  This includes verifying the “working preference,” income, and a criminal background check of all adult members of the family to determine whether they have any drug related or violent criminal activity arrests or convictions.

What does it means to claim the “working preference”?

The Topeka Housing Authority uses an admissions preference for working families. This means rental assistance is first made available to families whose head of household, spouse, or sole member is employed at any job for which wages are received on a regular basis.  Applicants are given the benefit of the working family preference if the head of household, spouse, or sole member is age 62 or older, or is a person with a disability.

How do I know if I am income eligible?

Program:THA HousingSection 8 (Housing Choice Voucher)
LocationsNine housing developments with a total of 744 homes – ranging from studio apartments to five bedroom town homes.You have a choice of locations across Topeka. More than 400 landlords participate in the program.
AmenitiesTHA Developments –
• Refrigerator & range included
• Air conditioning
• Washer/dryer hookups or a laundry room
• Most sites have free off street parking
• Hi-rise sites are all utilities paid
Ask the landlord about –
• Refrigerator & range
• Air conditioning
• Washer/dryer hookups or a laundry room
• Parking, parking fees
• Utilities
Maintenance24-Hour - Emergency Maintenance at no charge if the problem is not due to tenant-caused damage.Ask the landlord about 24-hour emergency maintenance and any fees charged.
Application Fee No application fee $25 to $45 is typical
Security Deposit $100Each landlord has different policies, but the amount cannot be more than one month's rent.
UtilitiesEach development is different. All utilities are included for our three hi-rise developments.Ask the landlord for information on utilities paid by the tenant and a typical monthly cost.
Pet Deposit $75 to $200 based on number of bedrooms, for one dog or cat. Dogs must not weigh over 16 lbs.Each landlord has different policies on whether pets are allowed, the amount of the pet deposit and what size pets allowed.
Income Limits THA Housing –
Yearly Household Income Must Be Below These Amounts
1 Person - $36,750
2 Person - $42,000
3 Person - $47,250
4 Person - $52,500
5 Person - $56,700
6 Person - $60,900
7 Person - $65,100
8 Person - $69,300
Housing Choice Voucher Program -
Yearly Household Income Must Be Below These Amounts
1 Person - $21,950
2 Person - $25,050
3 Person - $28,200
4 Person - $31,300
5 Person - $33,850
6 Person - $36,350
7 Person - $38,850
8 Person - $41,350

Who is eligible for the elderly and/or disabled status?

Elderly status is given to the Head or Household and/or spouse who is 62 years old or older.  Disabled status is given to the Head of Household and/or spouse who is receiving SSI or SSDI for a disability or is certified by a doctor as disabled according to the federal definition of disabled.

What happens if I claim a preference that I don’t really qualify for?

All preferences will be verified when anyone is pulled from the waiting list.  If the claimed preference cannot be verified, the person will be dropped from the waiting list.

How is the waiting list determined?

To assure that families on the waiting list for Section 8 rental assistance are served within a reasonable period of time, the Topeka Housing Authority may use a random selection process to determine in what order they will be served. At times when a sufficient number of vouchers are available, families will be served on a first-come-first-serve basis. Families claiming to qualify for an admission preference will be invited to submit a complete application as their names are drawn from the waiting list.

How can I find out what number I am on the waiting list?

Waiting list position information is available on Friday from 8:00 am-4:30 pm by calling (785) 357-8842, ext. 100.

What should I do if I move while on the Waiting List?

You must provide a written change of address within 10 business days of your move to THA.  All mail sent by the Topeka Housing Authority is stamped “Return Service Requested”.  This means the Post Office will not forward this mail even if a forwarding request is on file with the Post Office.  If a person fails to notify the Topeka Housing Authority in writing of a new address, they may be dropped from the Waiting List.  Address change forms are available in the THA Administrative Office, or you can download the form here.

How many bedrooms will I be able to have?

According to THA guidelines, there should be no more than two persons per bedroom.  Guidelines also state that a child of two years of age or younger can share a room with a parent; and children of different sex can share a room until one reaches age five.

How does THA conduct background checks?

THA uses a variety of resources to complete background checks.  This includes using Topeka Police Department resources, the Shawnee County District Court website, websites from other states and communities as well as various commercial companies that have resources to identify criminal history of applicants.  Applicants that fail to provide accurate information are automatically denied.

How does THA verify income?

Employers, SRS, Banks, Pension Funds, etc. are contacted to verify income.  In addition, HUD provides electronic access to various income sources to verify income.  If applicants fail to report all income, they are automatically denied assistance.