Application Instructions for Texas Section 8
Texans who are struggling to find affordable housing have assistance thanks to the Texas Section 8 program. This service is provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and managed state-wide by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA). Households that meet certain requirements, mainly having a low-income household, will be eligible to apply for the following Section 8 programs:
- The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program
- Public housing
In Texas the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program provides households unable to afford rent with a subsidy. This subsidy ensures your household will not pay more than 30 percent of your monthly income on rent. If you apply and are granted with a HCV you have 90 days to find affordable housing in Texas. There are currently more than 330,000 affordable apartments subsidized for low-income households. You will need to choose an apartment that meets HUD standards for safe housing, and your landlord must be approved to accept the Housing Choice Voucher for rent. If you decide to move from your home, which can include townhomes and single-family dwellings in addition to apartments, you can transfer your HCV to another public housing authority (PHA).
The public housing program in Texas provides households unable to find affordable housing with a safe accommodation. There are more than 38,000 apartments in the project-based Section 8 program in Texas. When you apply for Section 8 public housing you are given a unit within your PHA area. The rent for the unit is based on a preset rate that ensures you will not pay more than 30 percent of your income on housing each month. Keep in mind you cannot transfer the public housing benefits to another unit. To move you will need to reapply to another PHA waitlist.
Each of these Section 8 programs in Texas require you to apply for services. But first you must find out if your household qualifies.
Who can Qualify for Section 8?
The most important qualification for Texas Section 8 assistance is your income. You will need to check your household income with the statewide income limits summary for Texas. If your household income is less than the low-income limit for your household size, then you are eligible to apply for Texas Section 8. For example, to qualify as a family of two, your combined income for the year cannot exceed $41,450. The household size accounts for all applicants including children, elderly, or disabled individuals. Additionally, if you have disabled or elderly members of your household you are required to receive priority placement for Section 8 services.
Other factors you must meet are set by HUD. These include:
- You are currently living in Texas, as is the rest of your household.
- Everyone is living in the US legally.
- Everyone can pass a criminal background check without issue or felony convictions involving drugs or sexual offenses.
- Your household has a good rental history with your current and previous landlords.
All of this information will be verified using documents including birth certificates, Social Security cards, and payroll statements. You will also be required to provide contact information for your employer, landlord, and character references.
How to Apply
Apply for Texas Section 8 by calling your PHA office. Request an application and submit this accordingly with all of the required documentation. When you have submitted your application you will be placed on a waitlist. There are currently 19 waitlists for the Housing Choice Voucher program and 29 public housing waitlists that are either open or closed.
Depending on funding and availability, your waitlist wait time will vary from months to years. Contact your PHA representative for more information about how long it will take to be moved up on the waitlist that you are placed on. To increase your chances of getting Texas Section 8 assistance you can apply to more than one waitlist at multiple PHA offices. Keep in mind that if you are chosen for a public housing program, you will have to live in the PHA area where you are accepted. However, if you receive a Housing Choice Voucher you can port this to whichever Texas city you reside.
As you apply for Texas Section 8, if you have any questions or concerns contact your local HUD rep at one of the following offices:
- Forth Worth Regional Office
- Houston Field Office
- San Antonio Field Office