Learn How to Apply for Section 8 Housing

The Section 8 housing program provides financial assistance to low-income families to help them afford a decent home.

The program is funded by the federal government and is also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The funding for the vouchers is locally administered by housing authorities that receive funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

You can learn more about where to sign up for housing assistance or unemployment benefits by visiting a public housing authority (PHA) or unemployment office near you. However, the steps for completing the application process is quite simple as long as you meet the eligibility requirements and are able to submit all necessary documentation.

To learn more about the Section 8 housing application process, continue reading the information below.

Learn the Section 8 Housing Application Steps

As long as you meet the eligibility requirements that are set in place by the public housing agencies in your state, you can begin the application process. Most applications must be completed in person, although some states may have online applications available as well.

Also, you must keep in mind that even if you meet the eligibility requirements at the time that you apply, if you do not still meet those requirements when your name reaches the top of the waiting list, you will not qualify. The waiting times for receiving assistance can be very long and can even take years in some situations.

In addition, the income limits for the assistance vouchers vary from state to state and may even vary in different counties. Therefore, it is crucial that you understand what the income requirements are in your area if you are interested in applying.

If you are a U.S. citizen and wish to learn more about the requirements and median income averages, you can visit your local Public Housing Authority.

Housing authorities also provide physical application forms, and in some states, access to online applications as well. For example, Montana allows applicants to fill out an application easily online in order to avoid waiting in lines at the PHA. If an online application is available in your area, consider utilizing it to save time.

The application requires certain information to be provided about you and everyone in your household. First, you must enter information about your family’s gross annual income (the amount of money you earn in one year from all sources before taxes). Then, you must provide information about the head of the household and each family member.

The information you must provide includes the following:

  • Full names
  • Social Security numbers
  • Dates of birth
  • Genders
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Family size

Also, you must include any special situations for the members in your household, such as whether any family member is pregnant, disabled or elderly. Next, provide information about your family income such as any salary information, assets and other sources of income.

Make sure that all aforementioned information is accurate, as any inaccurate information can lead to your application being denied. If any of your information changes, you must complete a Waiting List Information Change form and submit it to the appropriate agency in your area.

After you have filled out the entire application completely, submit it to the appropriate department and it will be reviewed. If your application is approved, you will be put on a waiting list and notified once it is time to receive your financial housing assistance.

Discover What to Do Before You Apply for Section 8 Housing

It is important to be prepared before you begin the Section 8 housing application. You must have certain required information and documents prepared ahead of time. The application must contain only accurate and current details, so ensure that you have all necessary and up to date documents on hand.

Also, note that after you submit the application, the PHA may require you to provide additional supporting documents for proof of identity and citizenship. Also, you must understand that the housing agency will also run a complete background check to ensure that you provide completely accurate information about your income, citizenship status, identity and more.

By completing your application, you authorize the agency to process your background check.

If your application is approved, a representative with the PHA will contact you to set up an interview and will also request that you bring additional documents with you for review. A few of the required documents include the following:

  • Proof of citizenship or legal status in the United States.
  • Proof of income – pay stubs, bank statements, benefit award letters, etc.
  • Proof of identity – ID card, passport, Social Security card, driver’s license, etc.

The interview that is conducted will involve a PHA worker confirming your eligibility information and reviewing the submitted documents. Information and documentation for your family members must be reviewed as well.

Make sure that you are prepared to provide information for each member of your household. After the interview has commenced, you must sign all necessary forms and review your rights and responsibilities. Your application will then be put under review.

If your application is approved by the housing association, you will be placed on a waiting list. The wait times range, although you may anticipate waiting up to a couple of years. Once you have reached the top of the waitlist, you will be notified and called in for a voucher briefing.

You will receive additional information about the vouchers and the financial assistance that you will receive, which can help you to determine the housing you qualify for. Additionally, your eligibility will be reassessed to ensure that you still meet the requirements. You will then receive a Request for Tenancy Approval package in the mail.

Once you receive the voucher and the package, you can begin your search for a qualifying home in the area of your choice.