The Section 8 housing choice voucher program is an initiative that operates in cities and towns throughout the United States. If you’re struggling to afford your rent each month, you might be eligible for benefits through this program.
Section 8 is operated by public housing agencies (PHAs) in specific districts. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) distributes these benefits to PHAs. Then, the agencies award vouchers to applicants.
If you need help to be able to afford your rent, this program could provide assistance to you. However, before you can get benefits, you need to know how to apply for a voucher.
The sections below explain how you can apply for Section 8 benefits through a PHA near you. While the process might seem overwhelming, you can submit your application in five easy steps.
If you want to obtain a Section 8 housing choice voucher, you need to first find an agency to apply through. The PHA you use will be based on the location you want to use your Section 8 benefits in.
PHAs are responsible for awarding benefits to residents in certain districts. Depending on where you’re looking to live, the PHA in that area could be responsible for distributing vouchers to:
Once you know where you want to use your Section 8 benefits, you can start looking for housing agencies to help you.
You can find your local PHA by visiting HUD’s website. This page will tell you how you can find your nearest PHA, as well as how to contact the facility.
Make sure you know which PHA you need to apply through. Benefits are not transferable between districts.
After you locate the PHA you need to apply for benefits through, it’s important that you check and make sure you’re qualified to receive a Section 8 voucher in that jurisdiction.
In general, eligibility requirements are the same throughout the country. However, certain requirements, such as the amount of income you can earn and collect benefits, may vary by location.
The general Section 8 eligibility requirements are as follows:
When you apply for Section 8, it’s important that you have documents ready to verify the fact that you qualify for a program voucher. Otherwise, you won’t be able to obtain assistance.
Generally, you need to provide documents that verify whether you meet the criteria to enroll in your PHA’s Section 8 program. This means you’ll need to bring the following:
Once you have all the information you need to submit with your housing choice voucher application, you’re ready to file your materials.
Your public housing agency is responsible for determining the methods you can use to apply for benefits. However, there are usually three main ways you can apply for a program voucher. This includes applying:
Each of these application methods has its own benefits. Make sure you choose the option that is best for you.
After you submit your application, you need to wait for the PHA to determine if you qualify for benefits. The amount of time it takes for you to obtain a determination varies.
However, you need to remember that just because you’re approved for Section 8 doesn’t mean you’ll be able to immediately receive a voucher.
Most PHAs have a high demand for benefits. As a result, most public housing agencies are required to maintain waiting lists. Sometimes, these waiting lists are only a couple months long. Other times, they’re years long.
Keep this in mind when you apply for benefits.