Requirements for a Section 8 Household

Requirements for a Section 8 Household

What Are the 4 Requirements for a Household to Qualify for Section 8

Section 8 is a government subsidized housing program created to help assist low-income families afford safe and clean housing by covering a portion of their rent.

section 8 requirements

The main goal of the program is to help families afford a rental until of their choosing in the private sector. There are qualifications a household must meet in order to be considered an eligible applicant for a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher by a local Public Housing Authority also known as a PHA.

These are the 4 main Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers Qualifications

1. Type of Household

First, applicants must describe their family status. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) definition of a family.

According to HUD, a family is described as one or more persons who live together. Surprisingly, there is no blood relations required to be considered a family. Individuals, single people, roommates or parents with children can all be considered a family by HUD.

The word household might better describe HUD’s definition of a family. 

Senior or Elderly Household

If one or more members of the family or household is over the age of 62 and listed as head of household on the application for a Housing Choice Voucher the family would then be considered a Elderly or senior household.

Disabled Household

If one of more persons listed as the head of the household is disabled, the family would then be considered a disabled household.

Applicants who are considered a Family


If none of the head of the households are disabled or elderly (over 62 years of age) on the section 8 housing choice voucher application, then the household would be considered a family.

2. Financial Status

Since the Section 8 program was created to help assist low-income families afford rent, qualifying for a housing choice voucher is largely determined by a family’s income level in relation to the local area median income.

There are three basic levels that HUD instructs local PHA’s to use when determining applicant’s income level.

  • Extremely low-income: Households who apply for section 8 housing choice vouchers that have an income level that is 30% of the area’s median income levels.
  • Very Low-income: are applicants whose income is 50% of the area’s median income.
  • Low-income: are applicants with income that equals 80% if the area’s median income levels.

 The size of the family on a section 8 housing choice voucher application will greatly impact which income level the PHA assigns to the application.

For example, a family who has multiple adults in the household and earns 40k a year of combined income would be considered to have lower income than a family of one adult who earns $30k a year.

Also as per directed by HUD a majority of section 8 resources will be given to applicants who are considered extremely low-income.

What constitutes a family’s income?

Basically any income that should be reported on taxes will be considered income by the PHA and impact the families income leve.

Such as salaries, commissions, tips, investments, inheritances, unemployment, insurance claims, law suit settlements, retirement, social security, disability, welfare checks, workers comp or winnings etc.

Only adults on the application will need to report their income.

3. Qualification Citizenship Status

You must be a US citizen or have eligible immigration status qualify for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers.

If you believe your family does have eligible immigration status for Section 8 then you will also need to follow these steps for the local PHA for verification.

A signed document declaring that you have eligible immigration.

Immigration and Naturalization Service documents.

Agree and sign a release of your INS information to be used for the purpose of determining your section 8 eligibility.

4. Qualification, Background, Rental and Criminal History.

Automatic disqualifications are:

Family members that have been convicted of drug related crimes and evicted from a property in the last three years will be determined as ineligible for section 8. 

Any family members convicted of manufacturing methamphetamines in subsidized housing are ineligible.

Any family member whose crimes require a lifelong registration as a sex offender. Each PHA will conduct their own verification interviews and apply their own qualification process under HUD’s guidelines to section 8 housing choice voucher applicants.

It is important to contact the local PHA where you wish to apply to figure out more specifics about the application process.

By 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.

98 comments

  1. This is Lana and Pat McDowell. We would like to apply for hud. There is 4 adults. All 4 of us in on ssi and pat get ssa too. We have til the 31st to find a place to live. PLEASE HELP US!!!.
    THANK YOU
    LANA AND
    PAT
    MCDOWELL

    1. Hi, you can all apply for the Section 8 housing voucher by visiting the local housing authority. There is also an online application on the HUD website.

    2. Well i be trying to find application for section 8 on line but when i click on it it send me to another site please help

      1. Hello Elizabeth,

        We are sorry to hear that! I think there is a problem with their website right now. And the best that I can recommend is that go or contact your local public housing authority office and ask for tips on how to apply for section 8 efficiently and effectively. You need to explain your bad situation right now so they can also understand how bad you needed help.

        And to give you more information, you can read this article: https://affordablehousingheroes.com/apply-for-section-8/

        Thank you!

  2. Am I eligible? I’m unemployed looking for work and new to Oklahoma city in need of help. Have no friends or family for support

    1. Hi, we have outlined the eligibility criteria for Section 8 in our last article. However, you can visit the HUD website to get more information.

      1. Hi, you can get the application for Section 8 through the HUD website or by visiting the PHA closest to you.

  3. Hi I am in desperate need of a place to live. I am a 69 year old Senior. I don't know how to apply for Section 8 or subsidized senior housing. I need someone to help me. I will be homeless by Dec. 16,2021.
    Can someone direct me to where I can get the application. I am living in Odenton, ND

    1. Hello Virginia,

      To apply for section 8 housing program, an application form is needed to be submitted by you at the local housing authority office, to check for available offices near you, click here.

        1. To apply for Section 8, find your local Public Housing Agency (PHA). Determine if you are eligible, obtain an application for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.

          1. I only receive 7hundred and some dollar I’m disabled i don’t know how to go about finding a HUD place i live in Pontiac Michigan , and don’t understand how it works i need help i want a house for me and my grandbabies , please help me Martha

          2. Hi to get the list of PHA offices in Michigan, click here. After which you can proceed to submit your application.

      1. Been trying to get on choice house vouchers for 3 yrs I am homeless I sleep on a friend’s floor. could you please help me I always get the wrong Information when I go to section 8 web sight

        1. Hello Rena,

          We are sorry to hear that! Have you tried contacting or going to your local PHA Office there? You can tell them your situation and ask for the right program for you to apply to.

          You can also visit this website, there are a lot of articles that could help you. https://affordablehousingheroes.com/

          Thank you!

  4. Please HELP ME with SIGNING UP for
    the SECTION 8 HOUSING VOCHER because i have NO FINANCIAL only SNAPS & im LIVING with my TWIN BROTHERS but I'm really TRYING to MOVE OUT & START my OWN FAMILY so PLEASE HELP me to GETTING MY OWN HOUSING THANK U

    1. Kindly visit the PHA office closest to you to submit an application for the Section 8 housing voucher. Also, if you are lost on how to get to a PHA office, check the HUD website for a full list on information for each office around the country

    2. I’m homeless disable and health is not the best. O need emergency housing. I draw a check from ssi which at present is only 560 a month not nearly enough to afford any kind of shelter for my self I get 135 food stamps can’t breath so this alone makes life a burden the jest of this is I need assistance

    1. Hello shane,

      Please apply for section 8 housing voucher by visiting the PHA office. Also, read through the article on housing assistance for single moms to get other information on affordable housing.

    2. I’m currently living in my car and I need help with getting housing if you could help me I’m on ssi and I’m disabled here is my cellphone number 562 528-1264

      1. Contact the public housing agency (PHA) that administers the Section 8 program in your area. You can find the appropriate PHA by searching at HUD’s website (see Resources). Regardless of your time frame, you should always start with your local PHA. It can help you navigate the application process.

        Make sure you are eligible, and your paperwork is complete and accurate. If your PHA has a waiting list — and most do — you’ll probably have to fill out a pre-application. When your name comes up on the list, you’ll need to confirm your eligibility.

      1. Hi I’m Ashley I need my own place asap please what do I have to do I’m no financial I only receive snap benefits how can I do the application thanks

        1. Hi Ashley,

          To get your own place, please apply for a Housing Choice voucher. Contact a public housing agency in your state. If you need more assistance, contact your local HUD office. You will need to fill out a written application or have a representative of your local PHA help you.

  5. I need to get on the waiting list for HUD Iam 64 yrs old my only means of income are social security survivors benefits of 969.00 per month. I have no evictions, no criminal history
    Please help me I don't know what else to do.
    Sincerely Sally

    1. To get on the waiting list you would first of all submit an application for section 8 with the local housing authority. You can do that by checking here for a list of office in your area to submit an application.

  6. I’m so dame stress I apply for housing section8 voucher and I get Slam with 100 emails and even saying I’m approve to call my local housing I don’t they they say I’m not on waiting list they can find me or application why??????? What the hell going on I’m homeless waiting don’t have a place to live I stay here there and not getting anywhere

  7. In February 2022 I must move out of my Shared Housing ( $600.00 a month).My home owner passed away & the family wants to sell house.. I'm retired on Social Security $982.00 a month.. All I see in Portland are Studios going for $1500.00 a month… I've lived in Shared Living for last 8 yes. I'd love to live by myself…I would like to get subsidized from the Goverment if possible…thank you for your time..Doug Sera

        1. Hi, in order to get housing assistance, please visit the PHA office in your city and submit an application while explaining your situation to them and you might be placed on an emergency waiting list

  8. I'd like to apply for a low income home my last home was in long beach ca it looks like a good plan or program to look into

    1. Hi Melvin,

      To apply for low-income housing program administered by the HUD, visit the local housing authority to submit an application.

  9. My daughter is collecting social sexcurity disability cheks as she is permnanenemty disabled and unable to work. She is currently in a Section 8 duplex, and the landlord has raised her rent twice since August, it now being $577.00/month. With her water and electricity and food, that puts ker over the amount she gets /month. What canwe do?

    1. Hi Jan,

      You should contact the PHA office responsible for the approval of the section 8 voucher and state your complaint or ask for a change in apartment

  10. I need help its keep sending me the same thing am i approved km homeless nobody helping i dont never hear back with good news its always the same thing

    1. Hi devine,

      Please be patient and continue to check back your application process with the PHA office you registered with. The delay nag be due to the increased number of applications which needs to be answered before it’s your turn.

      1. I am doing this for my son Frank Hernandez, currently he is disable , blind, and on dialysis. He is trying to sign up for section 8, because he is low income. Can you please tell me how to go about it. My name is Diana Hernandez and I am his mother. Thank you

        1. Hello Diana,

          Go to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website to find a list of state and local housing authorities. Contact the housing authority in your area to ask about the application process. Often, you can complete the application online or download it from the housing authority’s website.

  11. Hi i meet and pass all the requirements for a section 8 household! Please give me a call at 901 233 7405 so we can talk! Thanks

  12. Iam a 55 yr old white female with a small registered support dog and homeless and on disability for Disc degenerative disease, and Mental health issues. I am wanting to leave the state

    1. For help with the section 8 housing voucher, speak with the local housing authority in order to submit an application.

    2. I have a family of 3 (myself, my husband, and my daughter) . We are unemployed but have been applying everywhere. We have no transportation or family to help and our towns Housing Assistance Program wont even let anyone get on the waiting list. Its been closed for years now…….absolutely crazy. Every time i go in and ask for help applying the response i get is “you have to go online and apply” ….whuch i have tried SOOOOOOO MANY TIMES but its very confusing…… and the other response is “the waiting list is still closed” WE NEED HELP . And CONNECTICUT is the worst state for homelessness or any timely help with mental health , if at all. PLEASE HELP US

      1. Hi, the Section 8 housing assistance program allows you to submit applications in several states at once. You should consider checking the PHA offices of other cities close by in order to get on the waiting list. To check the list of PHA offices in other cities, click here.

  13. Hi my name is Linda Capistrano I'm homeless and 55 years old living Anaheim for 15 years I've been homeless for three and this year is really bad and I have mental health and apply for the housing section 8 or voucher and I want to know if I got voucher or if it's , active or what do I need to do to get me off the street

  14. I am trying to get help for my family and I! I’m a single mother of 2 little ones and my 1 children is disabled! I’m in need of desperate help trying to get us a voucher for us 3! That way I can get help! Please because we won’t be able to be to stay at our residence much longer due to numerous of things since COVID happen! Please please from the bottom of my heart help me get back into the list I was on Flagler which I would love to be back on over there! Please help me and my 2 children! 386-410-9047

  15. Need help asap please. I'm a single mother of 6. I do have a job but I'm currently living in a hotel. My kids stay with their grandmother til the weekends. I have been staying in and out of hotels for over a year now. I can find houses available but I just don't have all the money upfront at once and if I wait and come up on it then it's already been rented. Please I just need the assistance and the help to get into my own place and to be able to bring my kids home and be with them everyday and not just weekends. This is the longest I've ever been away from my babies. Please.

    1. Please contact the local housing authority office to submit an application for section 8 housing voucher for the elderly.

  16. My daughter and her 3 children are being asked to leave a house which she shared with her youngest child father. She has a job but cant afford a place big enough for them all. Would she be eligible for section eight voucher? She live in concord california.

    1. She can be eligible for the Section 8 housing voucher but the only way to know that is by checking with the local housing authority office and she can also submit an application right there

  17. My income is only my Social Security and I have a car and some credit card debts At this moment I hardly make my rent and they lower my foods stamps I really need help with my rent and a place to live.

    1. To get help with your rent. You can use a Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) to pay for all or part of the rent.
      To apply: contact a public housing agency in your state or across the country.

  18. Need help with my rent since things with food in buying for 2 teenagers and 1 adult. I will like to apply for section voucher I have been I this house for 15 years paying rent they went up put she will accept voucher for rent if I’m approve I’m 68 raising 2 grandkids with disabilities.

    1. Hello,

      If you need help paying your rent, contact your state housing finance agency or your local public housing agency office. You may qualify for government programs to get help with your rent payments.

      Even if you don’t qualify for rental assistance through these agencies, they may be able to refer you to a community organization that can help. You may also search for and contact community or nonprofit organizations in your area. They may help you directly or offer you referral information.

  19. This site always sends me texts saying … check ur section 8 status and when I try it tells me the same ole information over and over it’s so annoying . I live in New haven Connecticut and have applied to i don’t no how many housing authority. My boyfriend has been #1 on the East Haven list for over six years with nothing…. We’re freakin homeless and nobody will help us. We’re both disabled and 55 and 63 yrs old. Feeling hopeless and frustrated

    1. Sorry about that Michele. To have a higher chance of getting housing faster, please apply to other housing authorities

  20. I applied at the Martin County Housing Authority and Fort Pierce Housing Authority 2 1/2 years ago. They both said I am still on the list and that I may have to wait up to 10 years. Fort Pierce said section 8 hasn’t existed for 5 years. My roommate passed away last month and the son who owns it wants me out so he can fix it up and get rid of it.I am 72 and receive $896. for SS. I work still but only 1 or 2 days because that is all I can handle at my age

    1. Please keep checking in on both PHAS to get updated on your waitlist status. Also, to have a better chance of getting section 8, try applying in other PHAs as well

  21. Every time i check in on section 8 housing it says not taking new applications. It is closed. What should i do. My bro n law is attacking me, punching me and stealing all of mine and bedridden hubs clothes.

    1. : Hello,

      Try to obtain an application for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program in another public housing agency in your state.

    1. Great!

      Contact your local public housing agency and HUD office if you’re interested in applying or want to learn more. Here’s a quick list of what to understand before you apply:

      -You’ll need to provide documents that prove your personal and income-related information

      -The restrictions and requirements may vary depending on where you live

      -A local agency will review your application take a look at your finances (i.e. income, inheritance, alimony and scholarships)

      -All of your information will need to be verified

      -You may then be able to get on the waiting list for a voucher

      -Approval for a voucher (which can take years)

    1. To get HUD for seniors. Please contact your local HUD office to speak with a HUD-approved housing counselor for information about your situation.

    1. Hi Phillip,

      To get housing, please apply for Public Housing and Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8). To apply for either type of help, visit your local Public Housing Agency (PHA).

  22. I’m a elderly disabled single man lives alone another used to help Gregory hater I can be reached at 520)771-3334.

    1. If you are a senior or a person with a disability, you may apply for the Housing Choice Voucher Program – This program helps very low income families, seniors, and people with disabilities afford housing in the private market. To apply, contact your PHA

  23. I am 55 and live in San Francisco. I am looking for a house for myself and my tree nephews and there mom to live in. We currently live down town in a bad neighborhood. These boys need a yard or neighborhood where they can play outside and be safe. When they go to school I have to tell out “kids coming through” so they put there drugs and paraphernalia away so the kids don’t see it. They need to have a normal childhood. I get texts from different places but I’m not sure if I am on section 8. How can I get some help or information

    1. To get Section 8 housing, you will need to apply for a voucher. Before you apply, you will need to know: Where you want to live: Each local housing authority has different rules around Section 8. Decide where you want to live and then find the local housing authorities that are in charge of those neighborhoods.

  24. Im disabled for depression and im homeless. I have nothing including no transportation. I already been on the waiting list 15÷ years. Im cold scared and hungary i need emergency assistance now PLEASE HELP ME ASAP I FEEL LIKE IM GONNA EXPLODE HELP

  25. I’m trying to get an apartment, living with my daughter and need to move because she has a full house now. And only make 1.237.00 a month. I can not afford a apartment on my own. I will be 69 years old may 4th. Need ASAP. Also need help with food and utilities. Don’t have a car. I have pain in my back and legs all the time. I see a pain doctor and regular doctor. Just had be
    Breas cancer. So I’m not in the best shape. Can someone help me . Tn
    Hank you. . barbara kaay Barrett. Phone is 7205480949.

    1. Hi Barbara,

      Section 8 offers housing assistance for the elderly and since you qulaify, it is best to submit an application with the housing authority and also explain your other needs to them for further assistance.

  26. I am looking to apply for section 8 housing I have never applied before and I am not sure how to apply can someone please help me thank you

  27. I am going to need a place to live when the lady I live with passes . She is 98 yrs old I have known her for 26 yrs .I was engaged to heh son for 20 yrs he passed away suddenly I could not afford our apartment. I moved in with his mom I have been here for 5 years . I am68 yrs old on social security. I make 1204.00 a month. I would like to get a manufactured home in a adult park but I need help to I can’t afford lot rent over 500 .00 a month

  28. i have been trying to get an application for seection 8 but i am not getting any help from NOBODY ON THIS WEBSITE,,,,,,, ( all of this going around and around in circles and i am not getting anywhere

    1. Hi Roxanne,

      Please contact your local PHA office to know your position on the waiting list if you’ve been approved.

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