Campau Commons Apartments duplexes line Antoine Street

Frequently Asked Questions

Reading FAQs can be a fast way to find answers to some of your questions about Grand Rapids Housing Commission programs. If you don’t find the information you need, please contact us.

General Questions

Questions about GRHC-Managed Family and Retirement Developments

How do I apply for housing assistance?
To apply for housing through the Grand Rapids Housing Commission Low-Income Public Housing or Project-Based Programs, please complete and submit our Preliminary Housing Application form.

The GRHC is not currently accepting new Section 8 applicants due to a lengthy existing waiting list.

I am homeless or need immediate housing assistance. How do I apply for emergency housing?
The GRHC administers Hope Community, a rapid re-housing program that serves homeless women and their children, however, we are not primarily an emergency housing provider. To apply to Hope Community or to get information about other emergency housing resources, please contact The Salvation Army-Social Services.

I currently live outside of the Grand Rapids area. Can I still apply for housing?
Yes, however, please be aware that our agency-administered family and retirement housing developments are required to serve households currently living within the City of Grand Rapids before we can serve those applying from outside of our area.

We are not currently accepting new applicants to our Section 8 Program due to a lengthy existing waiting list.

How do I apply for employment with the Grand Rapids Housing Commission?
We accept employment applications only when we have an open position. Employment opportunities are advertised in local media and on our website—please check the Employment page of our website for updates.

How do I report a housing code violation or file a complaint about my rental housing?
The Grand Rapids Housing Commission administers affordable housing programs for low-income families and is not a primary agency for City code enforcement.

If you are a GRHC Section 8 client, please contact your Section 8 Coordinator. If you rent at a GRHC-administered housing development, please contact your GRHC Housing Management staff.

Renters who do not participate in GRHC housing programs should report possible housing code violations to the City of Grand Rapids Code Compliance Division.

I have moved since applying for housing. How do I update the information on my housing application?
You can update your information online via a secure Application Update Form, or by completing and returning a PDF version of the form.

What exactly needs to be updated on my previously submitted housing application?
It’s very important that you keep your current mailing address on file with the GRHC. When your name reaches the top of our waiting list, you will be contacted by U.S. Mail at the address we have on file. Changes to family composition and income should also be reported.

How do I check the status of my housing application?
Please call our Waiting List Specialist at 616-235-2600; office hours are Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–noon and 1–5 p.m.

How long is the wait to rent family housing at Campau Commons or Creston Plaza Apartments?
The wait to rent at Campau Commons varies by unit size. Approximate current average wait times for applicants who currently live in Grand Rapids are:

one bedroom: five to seven years*

two bedrooms: five to seven years

three bedrooms: three to five years

four bedrooms: three to five years

*Senior citizen, or disabled and over age 50.

How long is the wait to rent one of your senior apartments?
The wait varies by development:
Leonard Terrace Apartments, Mount Mercy Apartments, Ransom Tower Apartments: approximately three months.
Sheldon Apartments: approximately 2 years.












Questions about the Section 8 Application Process and Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers

How does the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program work?
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program assists low-income households by paying private rental property owners a portion of the total rent. Qualified participants can transfer their rental assistance to other cities or areas of the country.

Is the Grand Rapids Housing Commission (GRHC) accepting new applicants to its Section 8 Program?
The GRHC is not currently accepting new Section 8 applicants. We are currently serving applicants who applied in 2014; when our 2014 list is exhausted, we will serve those who applied during June 2017. We do not anticipate opening the Section 8 waiting list in the near future.

I am on the Section 8 waiting list that was created in 2014. How do I get information about my status on the list?
Please call the GRHC Waiting List Specialist at 616-235-2600. Office hours are Monday–Friday 8 a.m.‑noon and 1‑5 p.m.

I applied to the Section 8 program in June 2017. How do I find out whether my application was among the 5,000 added to the Section 8 waiting list?
You can check the status of your application securely online at

Does the GRHC publish Section 8 waiting list position numbers that indicate whether an applicant is near the beginning or end of the waiting list?
The GRHC does not assign position numbers to Section 8 applications. The reason for this is that applicants are sometimes served out of randomized numerical order to satisfy U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) regulations and administrative requirements that are a part of our Section 8 program.

To be eligible for Section 8 assistance an applicant must qualify as a family, defined by HUD as:
  • A household that includes a child or children, or
  • A single person who is elderly (age 62 or older) or disabled.

Therefore, the GRHC must serve multiple-person households before single-person households on the waiting list, unless the single person is at least age 62 and/or is disabled. Single applicants who are not elderly or disabled are served after the HUD-defined “family” applicants on the waiting list.

Additionally, the GRHC has a “preference” for veterans who have honorable discharge status or surviving spouses of veterans; therefore, households that have veteran status will be served before non-veteran households.

Lastly, HUD requires that extremely low-income (ELI) families make up at least 75 percent of the households admitted to the GRHC’s Section 8 program each year. ELI households have incomes at or below 30 percent of the area median income (currently $24,600 for a family of four). Therefore it can happen that applicants are served out of randomized numerical order to satisfy this requirement.

For applicants added to the GRHC’s Section 8 waiting list, the important points are:
  • Wait times will be up to five years.
  • Because each applicant is contacted by U.S. Mail, it is important that applicants who move update their Section 8 application with their current address.
  • All eligible applicants who keep the mailing address on their Section 8 application updated will be served.

Click Application Update to access the form that makes it easy to update your application securely online.

Click Section 8 Administrative Plan to download and read the documents that detail the policies which govern our Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.

I currently live at an apartment complex that accepts Section 8. Does this mean I can get part of my rent paid by Section 8?
To receive a Section 8 rental subsidy, you must have applied for and been awarded a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher. We are not currently accepting new applicants to our Section 8 program due to a lengthy existing waiting list.

If you are currently on our Section 8 waiting list, we will contact you by U.S. Mail at the time your name reaches the top of the list. If you are eligible for a Section 8 voucher at that time, the Section 8 Program will pay a portion of the rent on the eligible housing of your choice. Please be sure to keep your mailing address updated as we will contact you at the address we have on file. You can update your application online via a secure Application Update Form, or click PDF version of the Application Update Form to download a printable version of the necessary paperwork.

Where can I find a listing of available Section 8 apartments?
The GRHC refers Section 8 clients to Michigan Housing Locator, a free online housing rental database provided by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

I own rental property. Where can I get information about participating in the Section 8 program?
Please click Information for Property Owners to view a page of our website that offers Section 8 information of interest to rental property owners.

I own rental property. Can I list available Section 8 rental units with the GRHC?
The GRHC does not maintain a listing of available rental properties. We refer property owners who want to list their units to Michigan Housing Locator, a rental listing/search database operated by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).