SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The San Francisco Housing Authority is getting set to open its public housing waiting list for the first time in six years.

Beginning January 13, homeless San Francisco residents will be able to place their names on the public housing waiting list, though that does not necessarily mean they’ll have a place to call home in the near future.

READ MORE: Former Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang Touts Basic Income at Mountain View Rally

That’s because currently, there are 7,000 families on that list, with more than 1,100 listed as homeless. The Housing Authority has $2.6 million to refurbish 178 units.

“They are in multiple stages of rehabilitation. The Housing Authority for many years didn’t receive the necessary funding from HUD to make them habitable,” said Steven Rosario, Director of the Leased Housing Department at the San Francisco Housing Authority.

He said homeless families will be given priority. The list will be open from January 13 through the 18.

READ MORE: National Park Service Proposes Parking Fees at Popular Bay Area Beaches

“There is a limited number of units and we want to make sure we do a significant outreach,” said Rosario. “Once the waiting list is closed, we can make sure we know exactly what the need is so that we can move on to the next phase of planning, which is actually doing the selections and then we can start selecting the families and moving them into the units once they become available.”

Erica Kisch of Compass Family Services said even though the number of available units is relatively small, it will still help.

“The family shelter system is always full and families wait six, seven, eight, nine months for a shelter stay that is only six months long at max,” she said.

MORE NEWS: CVS Stores Roll Out Pfizer Booster Shots Across Bay Area

To expedite the process, applications will be received online only. Homeless residents will be able to access the online application at libraries and at select Housing Authority sponsored sites where staff will be available to assist with the process.