Quick Guide For Applying For Section 8 Housing 

 December 14, 2020

By  Ashley T

Receiving assistance from the government can be a tedious task, and applying for a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher is no different. So where do you start? How do you actually obtain an application?

 I felt it’s important to do the research and simplified the entire process for you.

What are Housing Choice Vouchers?


Created in 1974, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program was established to provide affordable housing options for the elderly, disabled, and low-income families. Funding for this program comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Then a Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) is responsible for administering overseeing the local process.

If you are selected as a participant in the program, you would be able to select an eligibly living space that best meets the needs of your family. Each month you would pay 30% of the household’s adjusted monthly income directly to your landlord, and PHA would pay the remaining balance to your landlord.

How do I Know if I qualify?

Eligibility into the program is based on the total annual gross income and family size. If your income does not exceed 30% of the median income in your area it is likely your application will be approved. Due to laws, 75% of voucher applicants must be provided housing vouchers.

If you are unsure if you meet the income requirements your local PHA can assist with providing income details on your local community. Check out this link to find out more information about eligibility!

What is the Application Process Like?

Once you start the application process the PHA will gather personal information to determine your eligibility. They will need your family income, assets, and your family composition- if you have a spouse, or kids living with you?

Be sure you are honest with the PHA office! They will verify everything you say with your bank, your employer, and any other local agencies!

I’m Ready to Apply! Now What?

Once you are ready to apply for a Housing Choice Voucher you will need to contact your local PHA. Here is a link to find the nearest PHA office in your area. The application is free but be sure to check with your local PHA office to determine how to best submit the application.

After you apply you will either be rejected, or placed on a waitlist. If you are placed on the waitlist be patient, current applicants have experienced 1-2 years before getting approved. During this time make sure you are checking your status and being responsive to any request made by the PHA.

Please guide me through the process!

The 4 simple steps to apply for Section 8 online.

💡Applying for rental assistance online is the easiest and fastest way to apply for section 8 housing.

Most housing authorities across the US have a website where you can obtain a section 8 housing choice voucher. Many Housing Authorities will have software that enables you to fill out an initial application online, saving applicants time from having to mail or drop off an application.

Be aware that your local housing authority may or may not allow you to submit an application online. You may be required to mail or drop off your application.

Step 1. The first step to apply for section 8 online is to contact your local public housing authority (PHA). Most Housing Authorities will have a website where you can obtain a Section 8 housing choice voucher. You can either download the application, fill it out by hand and mail or drop it off at the local housing authority office, or fill the application out online.

Step 2. Register for a waitlist. An online section 8 housing application may require you to create a profile online. This will require you to register some of your basic information such as name, email and phone number. You will also be required to create a username, password and answer security questions.

Step 3. After registering for a wailistcheck account. You will now begin the initial application process. Applicants will be asked a series of questions that the Housing Authority will use to identify the initial eligibility and confirm the identity of an applicant such as: current address, family members, employment, income, additional contacts and value of assets. This information will be prefilled on your online section 8 application. It is required by law to provide accurate information to the best of your ability.

Step 4. The final step in completing your section 8 application online is to confirm your email address. Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your application. Be sure to check your email for any updates and login to your online account for any questions you may have.

I’m Finally Approved!

After some time on the waitlist, you’ve finally gotten the news that you are off the waitlist and now you can start the process of looking for your new home. Rest assure the PHA requires that your new landlord provides safe, sanitary, and decent housing and the unit must pass a housing quality set by the PHA.

You will then sign a year-long lease with the landlord, and the landlord will sign a contract with the PHA. Each party has specific obligations to adhere to throughout the lease term. You will need to make sure that you pay your portion of the rent on time each month, keep the unit in good standing, and immediately notify the PHA if there are any income or family changes.

Section 3: Conclusion

Getting selected for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher is no easy feat. However, once you ensure you are eligible and complete your application at your nearest PHA –linked here- you’ve already completed the hard part! Once you are off the waitlist you can start the process of moving to your new home.

Below is the step by step guide with some helpful links.

I hope this was helpful and provided you all the information you needed, but if I missed anything or if you have another question drop a comment below and I’ll be happy to assist!

About the author 

Ashley T

As a professional writer, I enjoy researching Benefit Programs and writing articles and guides that are easy to follow for those who are in need of assistance.

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  1. Thank you for your info. I was wondering is there an agency or private sector that can do the filing me the deadlines and have pull to expedite the process. My. Daughter has severe CHRONES diease and emergency housing is needed I can't seem to communicate with any one person as a go to.
    Fremont CA.

    1. Hello Wafah,

      The HUD or the PHA office in your area is the best place to fill out and submit an application for section 8, so as to be able to track the progress of your waiting list.

  2. Hi thank you so much for all your help your information is helping me a lot I’m disabled and homeless and what I receive from social security is not enough for me to get a one bedroom apartment or even pay the rent life has gotten so expensive rent is so high so thank you for all your help.
    P. S where can I get the application for section 8 I live in West Palm Beach Florida

  3. I'm trying to find the application to go to Boca Raton PHA office n bring in an application. But I can't find an application ANYWHERE. I WENT TO 45 TH. THEY SAID NO THAT THEY DONT GIVE OUT APPLICATIONS N THERE CLOSED BUT THE DOOS OPEN EVERYDAY. I NEED HELP PLZZZZ

    1. Hello juanita,

      Due to the increased numbers of applications for section 8, the PHA office in your area may stop receiving applications so as to respond to those on the waiting list. You can check another location closest to your area to submit an application for section 8.

  4. Have filled out many forms. Haven't heard anything! How do I know for sure I am on list. On disability recently widowed. Extremely hard to pay bills

    1. To check if you are on the waiting list for section 8 after submitting an application, visit the PHA office where the application was submitted to find out.

  5. Hello Ashley T , I'm living in a place called the jungle. With my ex and her son. I'm not on the lease and everyone I turn around she kicks me out. At witch point I sleep in my truck for a weak or so then she let's me back in until the next time. Anyway ,I do need some kind of assistance
    As I am disabled from a broken neck in 1977. I've been trying to find out how to apply for housing vouchers, with no success. Im ready to just give up. I would appreciate any help or advice you could give me.thank you !!!!!!
    My info !
    stevenguenther055@ gmail.com 602-825-6068.

    1. Contact your local housing authority to check for your eligibility status in applying for section 8 housing voucher or any other type of housing assistance program.

  6. I'm trying to fine section 8 housing authority or section 8 application online, make sure I'm on section 8,no scam,I'm on social security income,SSA and ssi, my landlord is trying to sell the place I'm at,so been look for help from section 8, I'm on section 8 housing authority in my town, thank you for reading my message

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