The Philadephia Housing Authority today begins taking applications for federally funded housing vouchers for the first time in a decade.

Applicants will be placed on the waiting list for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, formerly known as the controversial "Section 8" program.

The last time applications were taken for the vouchers was in 2000.

Currently 17,000 households in Philadelphia are enrolled in the program, which provides subsidized rent in private apartments or houses for those that qualify. The number of people on the waiting list is dwindling, which is why applications are being taken, said PHA spokesman David Tillman.

To apply for the program, you may fill out an application at or call 215-684-1200. Applicants must provide their full name, Social Security number and household income.

Because income qualifications vary, PHA recommends applying if you think you may be eligible. The application window is from today until March 15. But applicants are ranked on the waiting list on a "first come, first served" basis.

If you are on the waiting list already, Tillman said you do not need to reapply.