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Community Development Authority
City of Madison


IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you or any member of your family need an interpreter, materials in alternate formats, or if you require a reasonable accommodation due to a disability to apply for, receive, or continue to receive this service, activity, or program, please contact the CDA Housing Operations Division at (608) 266-4675 or housing@cityofmadison.com

You may only apply once to each CDA housing program while a waiting list is open. If you have already applied, additional applications will not be accepted.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher applications are only available to those who are selected in a CDA Lottery event.

Completing this pre-application should take no more than 30 minutes if you gather all the required information ahead of time. Be prepared to provide the following information for each household member before applying:

  • Full legal names of each household member
  • Social Security numbers for each household member
  • Date of birth for each household member
  • Annual income from all sources (before taxes or deductions)
  • A current mailing address and telephone number where you can be reached
  • Paper and pen
  • If necessary, contact information for the person who will assist you with completing future paperwork

Pre-applications can be received online anytime during the wait list open period. After applying, you will receive a confirmation number. This confirmation number shows that your pre-application has been received.

All information reported by the family is subject to verification. Various subsidized housing programs may impose additional occupancy restrictions. Under no circumstances may any member of the family receive federal housing assistance for more than one program at the same time.

By submitting this pre-application information you are not guaranteed placement on any waiting list. Submitting a pre-application does not bind the CDA to provide the assistance requested by you or for you to accept such assistance if offered.

If you are awarded any of the CDA’s preferences, you will be required to provide updated verification of preference status at the time you are selected from the waiting list.

Maintaining Your Status on the Waiting List
If you are added to a CDA waiting list, you will be notified by mail when your name comes to the top of that waiting list or if we are updating our files. CDA mail will not be forwarded by the U.S. Postal Service. If you do not respond to our notifications, or your letter is returned by the U.S. Postal Service, you will be cancelled and your name will be removed from the waiting list. . If you become cancelled from a waiting list, you will have to wait 3 months before you can reapply to the same waiting list and only if that waiting list is open.If you have a change of address, phone number, income, or family size, you must notify us within 10 business days of the change. ALL CHANGES MUST BE IN WRITING. No changes will be taken over the phone. Please include your social security number on any correspondence you send to us.

Program Eligibility

  • An applicant must qualify as an individual or a family as defined by the CDA.
  • Head of household must be at least 18 years of age at the time of this pre-application or a court ordered emancipated minor under a state law.
  • The annual household income cannot exceed the federal income limits established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Current income limits are posted on the CDA Housing Operations website
  • Applicant and all adult members of the family must pass a criminal background check. The household must pass screening and eligibility requirements established by HUD and the CDA. HUD requires the CDA to deny admission if any member of the household:
    • Fails to sign and submit consent forms.
    • Has been evicted from federally-assisted housing in the last 3 years for drug-related criminal activity.
    • Is currently engaged in the use of illegal drugs.
    • Has a current use or pattern of use of illegal drugs, or current abuse or pattern of abuse of alcohol, that may threaten the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment by other residents.
    • Has ever been convicted of manufacturing or producing methamphetamine on the premises of federally assisted housing. (discretionary denial for Multifamily Housing.)
    • Is subject to a lifetime registration requirement under a state sex offender registration program.
  • Applicant and all members of the family must provide documentation of Social Security numbers for all family members or certify that they do not have 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 the CDA or to any other housing authority will not be offered assistance until the outstanding balance is paid in full.

CDA Preferences
The CDA maintains separate waiting lists for each housing program and uses a preference ranking system to sort and draw from each waiting list. Preferences can be awarded at any time before admission to a CDA housing program. You must provide the required verification in order to receive the following CDA preference :

Residency Preference
Head of household, spouse, or co-head lives, works, or attends school in the City of Madison or in Dane County, Wisconsin.

Family or Elderly or Disabled
The applicant family includes a minor child (under the age of 18); or the head of household, spouse, or co-head is elderly (62 years of age or older) or disabled.

Homeless or Victim of Domestic Abuse
Preference for the CDA’s Section 8 programs ONLY. Head of household, spouse, or co-head is homeless or is a victim of domestic abuse.

The CDA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, familial status, age, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status.

Begin by selecting the CDA housing program you wish to apply for and then enter your Social Security number twice.

Select the programs you want to apply to:


Please enter your SSN twice to get started: