Why You Need Patience When Applying For Section 8

When applying for Section 8 assistance, you must be prepared for the long wait. Why? This federal assistance program has a lot more applications that it can afford to approve right away, and because of this, they usually place you on a waiting list when you apply.

How long your wait will also depend on the local public housing authorities' (PHA) preferences or prioritizing. What does this mean? Some of the local housing authorities develop local inclinations for moving applications up and even down the waiting list. In most cases, some offices may give preference to families who are living in substandard housing, currently homeless, involuntarily displaced families, households who pay more than 50% of their wages in rent. You may contact your local PHA if you have any inquiries about how prioritizing is granted.

There will be times that local PHAs have more applicants than they can assist in the near future. If this happens, they will usually stop accepting applications temporarily. Closing the applications for waiting lists may not be permanent but it is best to search for other areas where you can apply for Section 8 housing.

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Section 8 Vouchers: Where Can You Use Them

When looking for a rental unit, it is important to know the policies and regulations that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have set when it comes to accepting Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers.

The monthly rent of the unit should meet the housing authority’s Payment Standards. The Payment Standards are the maximum rent a household may pay with their voucher monthly. Check the local housing authority's website or contact them to know more about the Payment Standards in the area you are looking into.

All units, whether an apartment or a house, are inspected and must be approved by the local housing authority to ensure that they abide by the HUD’s housing standards. Inspectors examine the overall condition of the unit. This includes the structure, sanitation systems, and running water, among others. Animal infestations are also checked.

Moreover, there are numerous areas in the country that protect holders of Section 8 vouchers by making it illegal for landlords to refuse a renter solely because they are voucher holders. For voucher holders not in those areas, you must look for a landlord who is willing to accept your voucher.

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