Press Releases


City of Amarillo, TX – The Community Development department announces it will be accepting applications on-line for its Housing Assistance Program Waiting List beginning at 8am on Monday, July 25, 2016 and will remain open until further notice.

To better serve applicants and to make the application process available to all, including those who are least likely to apply, the entire application process can be accessed on-line at the City of Amarillo website, or alternately at Status information regarding placement on the list will be available on-line shortly after the closing date. Instructions regarding obtaining status information are provided during the on-line application process. Applications can only be provided on-line. Applicants must apply during the period the list is open for applications. The Community Development department may close the Waiting List at any time by posting a 24 hour notice on its website indicating the date and time the list will be closed.

Due to limited funding availability, applications for the waiting list will be selected and ordered, based on preferences of homelessness and local applicants, using a lottery system. Not all applicants will be placed on the waiting list. By randomly selecting the applications received for placement on the waiting lists, the process is fair. The time and date of receipt of the application on line has no bearing on whether an application will be selected for the waiting list. There is no need or advantage to applying immediately after the list opens. IF AN APPLICANT IS NOT SELECTED FOR THE WAITING LIST BY THE LOTTERY SYSTEM, THEY WILL HAVE TO REAPPLY UPON THE NEXT WAITING LIST OPENING.

The Community Development department will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure the application process is accessible to applicants who may have disabilities and cannot comply with the normal application process. Applicants indicating the need for a reasonable accommodation will be given the opportunity to apply through a written application completed by the close of the application timeframe. For more information, call 806-378-3098.


Housing Assistance Program Seeking Rental Property Owners

The City of Amarillo’s Community Development Department is in the process of approving applications for the rental assistance program. The housing assistance waiting list closed in October 2014 but due to policy changes from the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) the city is now able to reopen the waiting list. Recent sign-up events have created approximately 450 applications that are undergoing review for rental assistance program placement.

Community Development is seeking rental property owners interested in partnering with the City in order to meet the need of the housing assistance program by providing quality and affordable living units. In addition to serving program clients, there are many benefits to rental property owners who participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Interested private property owners with available units to rent should contact Housing Administrator, Kelley Shaw, at (806) 378-4203 for additional information.

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2016 Summer Lunch Program

Amarillo, TX – The 2016 Summer Lunch Program, beginning June 1, will provide free lunch to any child throughout the summer. Meals will be served at 55 sites throughout the City including schools, city parks and community centers. There is no cost or registration required at any of these sites and they are open to any child under the age of 18 in need of a lunchtime meal this summer.

The Summer Lunch Program is administered by the City of Amarillo and is funded through the Texas Department of Agriculture. The mission of the Summer Lunch Program is to meet the needs of the 67 percent of students in Amarillo (22,596 children) who qualify for free and reduced lunch during the school year who may experience food insecurity during the summer months when school is out. Interested persons can call 211 or text FOODTX to 877-877 to find out the serving dates and times at the locations nearest them or visit the City of Amarillo’s Community Development website at

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Housing Changes Go into Effect

Amarillo, TX – The waiting list to receive housing assistance has grown to more than 3,400 applicants – which represents at least a four year waiting period. As a result, the Department of Community Development has found it necessary to close the waiting list to new applicants until further notice, effective Friday, October 10.

Additionally, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) implemented changes in its policies and procedures for calculating Section 8 Housing Assistance that went into effect today. Rather than calculating the utility allowance based on the size of the unit rented by the family, assistance will now be calculated based on the size of the family. Participants and landlords have been notified.

If a tenant is responsible for paying the utilities, this change will most likely result in an increase of the tenant’s portion of the rent – or a decrease in the amount of the utility check. This change goes into effect with the December annual reexaminations, or when a tenant moves into a new unit.

If an applicant has a criminal history, they can expect an increase in the length of time that must pass before they are eligible for assistance. Plus, if a family fails to attend two scheduled appointments without the Housing Office’s approval, a notice of termination will be sent to the landlord.

“The changes were presented during public hearings to give the public an opportunity to comment,” says James Allen, Community Development Administrator. Closing the waiting list to new applicants will help us to continue providing critical housing assistance to our participants while administering the program in a more manageable, fiscally responsible manner,”

Representatives from the Housing Office are available to answer any questions or concerns Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 378-3098. For more information, as well as other services offered in our community, visit the Community Development department’s website at

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Community Development

The City of Amarillo Community Development Department is funded by federal and state grants to administer a variety of programs to benefit low income citizens. The mission of the programs administered by Community Development is to improve the living environments and economic opportunities of low and very low income neighborhoods and citizens through development of housing opportunities, neighborhood improvements, and public services.

Programs include subsidized Section 8 housing for low-income qualified residents. Interested applicants can apply for housing assistance online under the “Housing” link. Other housing programs offered by the Community Development Department include Emergency Repair grants, Homeowner Rehabilitation, Rental Rehabilitation, and the Homebuyer Assistance Program.

Community Improvement projects include renovations or construction of community centers, parks, sidewalks, or other infrastructure in low-income neighborhoods. The Community Development Department also funds a variety of public service projects in partnership with local non-profit agencies which provide a variety of services ranging from youth programs, senior daycare, meals for elderly and disabled persons, counseling, and homeless services.

The Community Development Department embraces a citizen participation process by which community needs are determined by a committee of citizen representatives. Funding priorities are recommended by a Community Development Advisory Committee which holds regular public hearings to solicit public comment on community needs. Community Development Advisory Committee meetings are advertised under the “Meetings” link and public attendance is encouraged.

Questions regarding the programs administered by the City of Amarillo should be referred to the Community Development Department at (806)378-3098.

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