How Do You Apply for Section 8 Housing?

1. Learn how Section 8 works.

Housing Choice Vouchers are managed by local public housing authorities. Vouchers can either be tenant based or project based:

tenant-based voucher - The tenant receives a voucher from public housing authorities and the tenant can bring the housing assistance wherever their household goes. project-based voucher - The housing assistance is attached to the property or rental unit, and whoever resides in the unit is the one who will receive the housing benefits.

2. Are you qualified?

Your qualifications will depend on multiple factors. This includes the total income of everyone in your household (except those who are below 18 years old), average income in your area, your assets, and others. The most basic requirements are the following:

  • You must be a US citizen or noncitizen who has qualified immigration status.
  • The total earnings of your household are below 50% of the average income for the area where you choose to live.
  • You meet other standards based on assets and household composition.

3. Keep records of your income and housing costs.

Pay stubs from employers to verify your salary, mortgage information or document to confirm how much your current rent is, will help when you are applying for Housing Choice Vouchers.

4. Find out what kind of voucher is better for you.

Did you know that the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development gives assistance to both leaseholders and homeowners? If you are renting the house or apartment where you are currently living, a tenant voucher can help you more. Need help in paying the mortgage for the house, townhouse, or condominium you own? Fill-up a property voucher application. There are some cases where Section 8 vouchers can be used to buy a simple house and make mortgage payments.

5. Apply for housing vouchers

Contact your local public housing authority to start your application process. If you prefer applying online, ask if it's possible to do so. Make sure that you follow all the instruction given by the public housing authority from how to get an application, how to complete the form, and how and when you can submit it.

If you are not fluent in English or just need help in accomplishing the necessary paperwork, call the local public housing agency to ask about their office hours so you may complete the needed paperwork in person. You can also ask if they can set an appointment with someone who can help you translate or help you in completing the forms.