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Who is Eligible for Section 8 Services?
If you need assistance finding somewhere safe and affordable to live in the US, then you may qualify for Section 8. This program is administered by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Locally public housing authorities provide services in cities, counties, and regions. You can apply for the Housing Choice Voucher program to help you afford rent, or the project-based housing program to help you find a place to live.
Qualifying for Section 8
To qualify for Section 8 services your household must meet the low-income limits for your state and household size. You must also meet other requirements as determined by HUD and your PHA office. Everyone in your household must be:
- Living in the US as a legal citizen or naturalized permanent resident
- Able to take and pass a criminal background check
- Include pay information and personal documentation to prove each person’s identity and income
If you meet these basic qualifications you are eligible to apply for Section 8 via your local PHA.
How to Apply for Section 8
The first step is to contact your local PHA to get an application. If there is a waitlist for Section 8 services at your PHA you will be allowed to get on the waitlist pending your application is accepted. If there is not a waitlist you will need to contact another PHA in your region. Waitlists can take months or years depending on how high the demand is for public housing. This is due to a limited amount of funds to support Section 8 services.
Once you are selected from a waitlist your application will be processed, and you will be provided with the Section 8 service you applied for. Keep in mind you can apply for either the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program or project-based housing at a PHA office. These are the basic Section 8 services, while some states also provide the Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program along with the HCV program to help increase homeownership.
It is free to apply for Section 8.