How Do You Apply for Section 8 Assistance?


Quick Answer

Apply for Section 8 assistance through your local Public Housing Agency. For further assistance, contact the Office of Public Housing within your local U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development office. Contact information for local PHAs is available on the HUD website, located at portal.HUD.gov.

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Full Answer

Section 8, also known as the housing choice voucher program, is a federal program intended to help very low-income families, the elderly and the disabled afford adequate housing. Voucher programs are administered by local PHAs. Applicants are required to submit proof of income, resources and family composition to determine eligibility. The PHA verifies this information and determines program eligibility and the amount of the housing assistance payment.

As of 2015, a family's income may not exceed 50 percent of the local median income. Additionally, vouchers are only available to U.S. citizens and certain categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. The local PHA can provide applicants with the income limits for their area and family size.

In many cities and states, the need for low-income housing assistance is greater than the resources available. In those locations, PHAs add eligible applicants to a wait list. If the wait list becomes too long, placement on the list may be awarded by lottery, or the PHA may choose not to accept further applications. Each PHA has the authority to give preference to applicants who face extraordinary hardship.

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