How I Got My Housing Voucher (Finally!)

44166159_2433878619960488_4431448484649893888_oZanetta Smith had been languishing on the Section 8 Housing Voucher wait list for six years.

In the meantime, she became homeless, sleeping in cars and a shack in the woods, disabled and unable to work, unclear why she was never getting offered a voucher.

Then she discovered a magic trick: If she could figure out why she was never coming to the top of the list, she could solve the problem by requesting a disability accommodation.

Four weeks later, she got a voucher. Here’s how she did it.


July 18

I’ve been on the section 8 waiting list since 2013. I heard they were giving out vouchers, so I check my status. Nope! I have been homeless, in my car, since December 26, 2013. I have been fighting for disability the entire time.

July 19

I posted in the Facebook group Disability Support and Self-advocacy in HUD, Section 8 & Low-Income Housing and people there told me to contact the Housing Authority and ask for an explanation. I tried calling today, but they had already closed. I’ll try again in the morning.

July 19 

I called this morning. It turns out my application went inactive in 2016, when my name came up on the list. But because I was homeless, with no address. At that time, I had no idea about being able to check things online. My application wasn’t reactivated until last March, when my worker told me I could create an online account.

July 20

People in the Facebook group told me I could request a disability reasonable accommodation. I would love to do a reasonable accommodation request! I didn’t know there was such a thing. I’m not sure who to ask for a letter. I’ve switched doctors twice since then. I could ask my caseworker at the mental health agency.

July 21

I got a sample letter from the Facebook group and emailed it to the case worker at my mental health agency. She just emailed me back to tell me she’s going to do it! Kind of excited I might finally have my own place at being in my car for so long. 😲

August 13

I think my reasonable accommodation might have been approved. I go Friday to fill out the paperwork. This morning, the housing worker called me and told me it was approved and I have to go fill out the paperwork.

August 28

I filled out the paperwork, but they haven’t responded to the reasonable accommodation yet. I don’t know if I got it. I plan on calling today.

August 28

They called me! I was awarded emergency section 8!! I will be getting the packet in the mail next week.

Zanetta’s Letter

Here is the letter the case worker from the mental health agency wrote for me: 


Thanks for Reading

🌸 This page is part of the free online guide: Epic Master List of Disability Accommodation Letters

🌸 Learn More: The Sleepy Girl Affordable Housing Survival Guide

🌸 Art on this page by Robin Mead and Elizabeth D’Angelo.

🌸 Facebook group for people with disabilities and family members: Disability Support & Self Advocacy in HUD & Section 8 Housing

🌸 Page Updated: 10/1/19

🌸 To get daily updates on helpful disability services, and low income programs, follow us on Facebook: The Sleepy Girl Guide.

🌸 Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. Please share this page with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons:

2 thoughts on “How I Got My Housing Voucher (Finally!)”

  1. I’m so happy for Zanetta and this might help me too. I was too ill to finish the paperwork this past Febuary… so I will try to get reinstated to that Sec 8 waiting list. My name had come up but between the freezing weather and my health issues I was unable to finish the process… Thank you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s