Application Instructions for Illinois Section 8

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In Illinois residents and households without the financial means or opportunity to have affordable, safe housing can turn to Section 8. The Illinois Section 8 program is under the federal leadership of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). On the local level, Section 8 is managed by public housing authorities (PHAs), such as the Aurora Housing Authority or Chicago Housing Authority. There are dozens of PHAs throughout the state. You want to choose the PHA that serves the community where you live to be eligible.

Services available through Illinois Section 8 include:

  • Housing Choice Voucher program
  • Project-based public housing

The Housing Choice Voucher program provides rental subsidies that are paid directly to the landlord. This subsidy covers the amount of rent that you cannot afford, while allowing your household to choose where you want to live. The only stipulations are that the owner renting to you must participate in the Housing Choice Voucher program, and the housing must be clean and safe according to HUD standards.

For project-based housing the state of Illinois has set aside low-income housing complexes that cater to low-income households. To get into these housing complexes you will most likely be placed on a waiting list, as the demand exceeds availability.

Each of these programs is based on low-income standards that require your household to make a maximum amount of money each month. The gross income is calculated along with your utility and basic living expenses. The remaining amount, which is called your adjusted gross income, is used to determine your eligibility for Illinois Section 8 services.

Some PHAs have closed waiting lists for Section 8 due to over-demand. However, there are 11 Section 8 waitlists for the Housing Choice Voucher program that are open indefinitely. For households in need of project-based public housing several PHAs in Illinois are open now.


Who can Qualify for Section 8?


The main factor in determining your eligibility is your household income level. For Illinois residents must not exceed the low-income limit, which ranges from $41,500 for a one-person household to $78,250 for an eight-person household. There are also very low-income and extremely low-income limits that may categorize your household income situation. The lower your household income, the more likely your chances of getting Illinois Section 8 assistance.


Other qualifying factors include:


  • Disabled household members
  • Elderly household members


If you or someone in your household is disabled or elderly, then you will be placed on a priority list to accommodate this circumstance.


As the Section 8 program is operated by a federal agency, HUD also has stipulations that must be met to be eligible for housing assistance:


  • You must be at least 18 to apply for Illinois Section 8 for your household.
  • Everyone over 18 in the household will be held accountable for their income contribution.
  • You must not have any adverse rental history, i.e. failure to pay rent or damage to property.
  • You must not have a criminal record that involves trafficking drugs or sexual offenses.
  • You must not be affiliated with manufacturing methamphetamine in a Section 8 apartment.
  • You are a US citizen or naturalized permanent resident.
  • You are a resident of the state of Illinois.


If you feel that you meet these qualifying factors, then you qualify for Section 8 and are eligible to apply for either the Housing Choice Voucher program or project-based public housing.



How to Apply


To apply for Illinois Section 8, contact your local PHA office. Your PHA representative will provide you with instructions and an application to complete for services. You must complete everything required by the PHA to be approved for the services. However, even then you may be placed on a waiting list depending on the housing demand in your area.

If you are approved for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, then you will need to find private housing for rent. Your landlord must be registered and approved to provide Section 8 housing prior to your residency. Here is a list of rental houses in Illinois that offer PHA assistance.

To request additional information about the Illinois Section 8 program, contact your local PHA office or the state HUD representative at the Chicago Regional Office. is not a government website or a government agency. You typically must work directly with the government to qualify for your program or benefits. This website and its contents are for informational purposes only. We do not claim responsibility for its accuracy.

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