To find out what cities are accepting section 8 housing assistance applications, the applicant must contact the local Public Housing Agencies in the cities to which the applicant is interested in moving. The website of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has contact information for each individual city and state.
Section 8 housing vouchers were established to assist low-income families, people with disabilities and the elderly to find safe and decent housing. However, local Public Housing Authorities have a great deal of leeway in who receives priority. In some areas, preference is given to the homeless, the involuntarily displaced, those who pay more than 50 percent of their income for rent or those living in substandard housing. Some areas do not approve applicants with drug or criminal convictions. When the need for housing assistance outweighs the amount of available vouchers, authorities sometimes close applications for a period of time or establish lists of thousands of families whose waiting period may last for years.
Despite the drawbacks, there are a number of advantages to having an application accepted for a section 8 voucher. Instead of locking renters into public housing facilities, which often have high crime rates and are far from work and good schools, section 8 vouchers allow renters to choose moderately-priced housing for themselves. Because they receive assistance with their rent, families can focus on other costs such as food, clothing and medical needs.