The 4 Simple steps to find a section 8 apartment
Section 8 actually refers to the updated HUD program called the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV). Which gives accepted applicants the ability to choose their own home.
In this article we address the simple steps of finding an apartment that accepts section 8 vouchers.
Steps such as, where to look online, how to contact a Public Housing Authority, working property managers and realtors that can help you find an apartment that accepts section 8 or housing choice vouchers.
Step 1. Contact your Local PHA (Public Housing Authority)
So you qualified and are now eligible to received your Section 8 Housing Voucher; now where do you find an Section 8 apartment or home that will accept your voucher?
The easiest and most direct way to find Section 8 housing is through your local Public Housing Authority or the Public Housing Authority in the city or county you are looking to live in.
The first step would be to find the contact information if you haven’t already, or website for the Public Housing Authority where you want to live.
If you need help finding Public Housing Authority offices near you, the HUD has a tool that can be of service. Click HERE and once the page loads, all you need to do is select your state and you’ll see a list with all the PHA offices and contact information for each.
Step 2. Search multiple online sources for Section 8 listings
You can usually find Section 8 apartment information online by searching for the city or county, and the search terms housing choice vouchers near me, local Section 8 housing, affordable housing, or public housing authority. You can also use a PHA database on HUD’s website.
Some local housing authority sites will require you to call, email or come in person to obtain the most up-to-date information on available Section 8 housing.
Some local public housing authority sites simply have a list of apartment buildings and units that accept Section 8 housing vouchers.
Some local sites might allow you to enter search terms within their site, and pull up the applicable Section 8 units and buildings from a compiled database.
It is always a good idea, however, to reach out to the public housing authority to see if their list and/or database have been recently updated.
Step 3. Search private homes that accept Section 8 Vouchers
If you are looking for privately owned, subsidized housing to use your section 8 assistance, such as a single family home, you can try searching regular, market rate rental home search sites, or by contacting your local Public Housing Authority.
Often times, if a private owner accepts Section 8 vouchers, the owner will state this in the posting for the home.
Websites also exist that have compiled their own database of single family, or privately owned housing that accepts Section 8 housing vouchers.
Often times, landlords will submit their property to these websites to add to the compiled list for advertising.
It is important to note that many of these properties listed may not be vacant, so do not get your heart set on one. Instead, compile your own list of a bunch of properties to contact.
Step 4. Contact a real-estate agent or property manager
You may also be able to find a realtor to help you find a section 8 home for rent. It never hurts to call around, and ask local realtors if they have any section 8 rental properties available to see.
Another way to find available Section 8 rental homes is to reach out to local property management companies. The property management companies might manage qualified Section 8 housing for their landlords.
Bonus step. A universal rule to almost any rental situation, persistence and follow-up
The process to find a house or apartment that accepts your Section 8 voucher can be tedious and frustrating, but hopefully we’ve made the process a little less stressful for you.
Do not be afraid to reach out to the Public Housing Authorities in different areas, and follow up with them multiple times until you find something that meets your needs. Remember, persistence is key!
Rentals and section 8 apartments are extremely competitive given the COVID-19 impacts on the economy. Now, even more people are looking for section 8 assistance.
Fortunately, President Biden’s plan for Section 8 Housing proposes to expand the Housing voucher program, in a 10 year plan, providing billions of dollars to the program and covering everything from the construction of more affordable housing to eliminating discriminatory practices that only perpetuate discrimination. This means more people will be able to receive Section 8 aid and waiting lists should be much shorter!
Give yourself the best chances by being persistent in your pursuit to find the right home.