Application Instructions for Michigan Section 8
For residents living in Michigan who are struggling to afford safe housing, the Michigan Section 8 programs offer a solution. Under the local leadership if the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) individuals and households can apply for low-income assistance. There are two available programs:
- Housing Choice Voucher program
- HCV Project-Based Vouchers program
The Housing Choice Voucher program provides Michigan households with the flexibility of finding affordable housing in their preferred district. To start the process of applying for the HCV you need to contact your local public housing authority. After you apply and are accepted you will be given a subsidy to help you pay for rent. While you do have the freedom to choose your own privately owned rental property, your landlord must be an active participant with the Michigan Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. Your rental home must be up to code and approved under the HUD standards for safe and sanitary housing. As for your rent, your household will be responsible for paying up to 30 percent of your total adjusted income on rent. The remaining balance will be subsidized by Section 8, and this amount is paid directly to your landlord.
Through the HCV Project-Based Vouchers program you can receive a subsidy to pay for your rent. However, unlike the Housing Choice Voucher program, this service requires you to live in public housing. The PHA office handling your case will find you affordable housing in projects in your area. Typically, the rent is pre-determined in these housing complexes. Once you move into an HCV Project-Based Vouchers program unit you will receive benefits unless your financial status or household composition changes. Additionally, if you move out of the apartment you will lose your Section 8 benefits and be required to reapply for future low-income housing assistance.
Any individual or household in need of low-income housing must apply to the Michigan Section 8 PHA in your service area.
Who can Qualify for Section 8?
In order to apply for Section 8 in Michigan your household must meet certain qualifications. The most important qualifier is your income. Your household must not exceed the low-income limit for your annual income. Everyone that is over 18 and able to work will be included in the low-income calculation for your household. Review the income limits summary for Michigan to see if your household qualifies based on its size.
If there is someone living with you who is elderly or disabled, then your household will be given priority for assistance, as required by HUD and MSHDA. Also, if you are currently homeless or have been involuntary displaced, your application for housing services has urgency.
Other factors that your household must meet in order to qualify for Michigan Section 8 include:
- The age of the application must be at least 18 years old.
- Everyone in the household must be a documented permanent resident or US citizen.
- Each adult should be able to pass a criminal background check, i.e. no sexual or drug offenses.
- Those living in your household must have a clean rental history that can be proven with contact with your current and previous landlords.
- Your household must not have defaulted or failed to pay for a HCV or project-based housing rental in the past.
If you meet these baseline qualifications you are eligible to apply for Michigan Section 8 services.
How to Apply
Get started with the application process of Section 8 in Michigan by locating the PHA office serving your residential neighborhood. You will begin by pre-applying to a waitlist in your area. If your city PHA does not have a waitlist that is currently open, then apply to the nearest service area. Keep in mind wherever you apply for Section 8 will determine the area where you will have to live when you receive services. Also, you can apply for assistance in more than one PHA service area. This requires you to pre-apply to multiple waitlists, which will increase the chances that you will be selected for Section 8 assistance.
As for the waitlists in Michigan:
- There are nine waitlists open for the Housing Choice Voucher program.
- Michigan has 114 waitlists for the HCV Project-Based Vouchers program, most of which are currently open to applicants.
Once you are on a waitlist you must wait until your name is selected to apply for Section 8. When this occurs follow the instructions provided for the application process. Provide everything requested by the PHA office including documents and contact information. The faster you complete this process, the quicker you can be approved and moved into your new home.
If you are applying for the Housing Choice Voucher program, start looking for affordable Michigan housing.