Application Instructions for Georgia Section 8
As a full-time resident of Georgia, you have access to Georgia Section 8 for housing assistance. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) oversees all state-level Section 8 programs. In Georgia, the state-level HUD provider is the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). You have the option of:
- Project-based public housing
- Housing Choice Voucher Program
Each of these programs is operated throughout the state. Most involve a lengthy waiting list, and in Atlanta residents must go through a lottery program to pre-apply for Georgia Section 8. There are three Section 8 waiting lists that are open indefinitely including:
- Housing Authority of DeKalb County
- Housing Authority of Savannah
- Marietta Housing Authority
Twenty additional PHA offices provide the Housing Choice Voucher Program for Georgia Section 8. Find your local PHA office according to your city or zip code. Notice that some PHA offices only provide low-rent, subsidized housing, while other offices also offer Section 8 programs. Consider applying for each type of housing assistance to increase your odds of getting into affordable housing sooner.
Who can Qualify for Section 8?
Your household income is the key qualifier to determine if you can apply for Section 8 in Georgia:
- Your adjusted income must be lower than 50 percent of the median incomes in your area. This is based on your household size, and the Income Limits Summary will show you where your income ranks.
Your adjusted income is the amount of money your household has after pay for essentials and utilities. The amount will be better determined when you apply for Section 8, thanks to a careful analysis by the DCA office.
In addition to your income level, the PHA application will require you to prove your age, residency in Georgia, US citizenship status, and rental history. This includes the following requirements:
- You must prove you are a full-time resident of Georgia as noted on your most recent tax returns, driver license ID card, or via proof of residency.
- You are a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident with immigrant status.
You will also have to provide access to your bank accounts, payroll information, and criminal history via a background check. The PHA will vet you thoroughly before accepting your application for Section 8 in Georgia. You must not have a criminal background that includes manufacturing drugs or destroying rental properties. Additionally, if you do have a criminal record, the offenses will be taken into consideration for your approval.
Your financial background may also affect your approval, as recent bankruptcies or foreclosures may indicate a lack of financial responsibility. Before you apply for Georgia Section 8 clear up any credit issues to improve your chances of getting approved for the Housing Choice Voucher Program or public housing assistance.
How to Apply
If you qualify for Georgia Section 8, you will need to contact your local PHA office to proceed to the next step. Depending on where you live, i.e. Atlanta or a rural town, you will either be allowed to pre-apply or apply directly. Pre-applications are taken on a lottery system by the Atlanta Housing Authority. In most other areas and cities, you will be allowed to submit your application, but may still be placed on a waiting list.
When you receive the application, read through the instructions and request additional information as needed to clarify anything. This will save you time and prevent you from making costly mistakes. You will most likely need to include several documents with your application.
Once you submit your application it is time to wait for a letter of rejection or approval. If you are approved you will be put on a waiting list or provided with a Housing Choice Voucher. You may also be provided with project-based housing depending on your location.
Look for homes available with PHA assistance in Georgia that meet the affordable rental and Section 8 requirements. The home you choose must meet the safe and affordable homes requirements. It must also be priced at a similar market value of other homes in the community.
To request additional information, reach the Georgia HUD representative at the Atlanta Regional Office.