Section 8 Application Guide

Families making low wages and struggling to pay for secure, clean housing can benefit from Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. Below are the necessary requirements before applying.

You Could Be Eligible for Housing Assistance

If it’s a struggle for you and/ or your family to find a decent, clean and secure place to live, there’s still hope because there are government options available. The housing voucher program has been a great help to many families in improving their quality of life. You too could be eligible without currently being aware of it.

The section 8 grants supply housing grants to many low-income families across the US and is administered by the US government. Partial costs of housing expenses are covered by the program so that millions of families with lower wages, disabled individuals and older people, can have access to clean, affordable and safe housing.

The procedure for gathering eligibility and application information can be tedious and discouraging for families who are truly in need of government assistance. The purpose of this article is to streamline this process so that eligible families can receive the assistance they need.


There are two programs under section 8 called mortgage subsidy and rent subsidy. You cannot use them to fund a housing project but they can be used to buy a house or aid in the payment of rent.

This is how it works:

  1. The eligible family finds the house they want
  2. The grant is paid to the mortgage or landlord directly
  3. The family completes the payment which will be around 30 to 40% of their monthly income

While the rent program is to aid tenants in making monthly rent payments, – through the section 8 mortgage program, the family needs at least $10, 300 in yearly income.  Or roughly $858 a month


The chief factors in deciding eligibility is the family size per unit to income ratio of said family.  3/4 vouchers are designated for families who fall below 30% of the median income but no family is supposed to exceed 50%. The eligibility guide and more information is available at here.

Application Process

  • Applying here– will take you to the local Public Housing Agency selection page on which you can start the required application process.
  • Wait for acceptance- you might have to wait 3 to 6 years and you might be able to check your wait time position.  Though there’s an extensive wait list, the agency will cease applications if the time estimated for waiting is 5 to 7 years.
  • Find housing- when the wait is over you will receive a call from the PHA and a voucher which you can use to look for houses. The house must be within the jurisdiction of the PHA for a minimum of 1 year and must meet the PHA’s standards.
  • PHA inspection- an inspection of the property will be carried out by the PHA to ensure safety and health standards are met.
  • Secure lease- the terms of the lease must fall inside PHA requirements but will be deliberated upon by the tenant and landlord. The landlord will make a direct contract with the PHA for the initial payment.
  • Pay deposit- the rest of the deposit will be handled by the recipient.
  • Take time to appreciate and have fun in your safe, healthy and affordable house.

Application Tips and Best Practices

  • Every landlord prefers tenants with a good credit history and it doesn’t matter if you benefit from section 8 or not. The landlord will be more open to apply for section 8 approval if you have a good payment history.
  • You can educate your current landlord on section 8 in case the place you are currently living in not taking advantage of section 8 benefits. If you have been a reliable tenant he could apply for section 8 approval.
  • Every local community has different standards that you can take advantage of. Find the PHA standards you qualify for in the locality and you might be moved up the wait list.

What Not to Do

To avoid getting kicked out of the program, don’t break any of the below rules:

  • Avoid committing fraud by renting your section 8 accommodation out, transferring assets to another party, charge rent to anyone living with you or receive extra help without alerting section 8.
  • Always pay your share of rent in a timely fashion, maintain your unit and let PHA inspect yearly.
  • Don’t provide false information to give yourself a better chance than others on or applying for section 8.
  • Maintain a clean criminal record.

Re-certification Process

Re-certification is much like the application process, except the voucher remains intact and there isn’t a wait time.  That being said, re-certification is a yearly obligation. All current information will be verified signed and returned by you. The voucher will be changed after the submitted documents have been reviewed and accepted.

Take the Next Step:

Waiting lists can take 3 – 6 years and even then you’re not guaranteed approval.  If you need immediate assistance today, please click HERE.