When you apply for housing assistance, unless you are displaced (See "Does anyone get housing assistance faster?"), your application is added to the lottery pool of all the applications for the housing program(s) for which you are applying.

When HACA has housing assistance available, it conducts an electronic lottery.  Each application is assigned a number and a computer program randomly selects the lottery winners, that is, the number of applicants to which HACA estimates will be able to provide assistance within the next twelve months.  When HACA conducts a lottery, all applications in the lottery pool have an equal chance of being selected.  No application has a better chance of being selected than another.

Applications in the lottery pool do not have a wait list number because they are not on a wait list.  (See “What happens if I’m selected in a lottery?” directly below.)  When you applied, or any preference points for which you might, eventually, be eligible (See “What happens if I’m selected in a lottery?” directly below.)  do not help or hurt your odds of being selected in a lottery.  Only the total number of applicants in the lottery pool impacts your chance of being selected as a lottery winner.