You Can’t Get Section 8 Assistance Without These 4 Things

If you’re looking for a place to live and need some help paying for it, Section 8 could be just what you need. This program, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, has been helping people in the U.S. find homes for years. It’s a good option for people who don’t make a lot of money and have trouble finding affordable housing. The government helps out by giving vouchers that make rent cheaper. In this article, we’re going to explain all about Section 8, how it can help you, and what you need to do to see if you qualify.

Section 8 Overview

Section 8 is a program run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). They give out special vouchers to people who need help paying their rent and who fit into certain rules. These vouchers are like special coupons that you can use to help pay your rent, making it much cheaper for people who don’t have a lot of money. The best part is, you can use these vouchers in lots of different places that accept them. This means you can choose where you want to live, which is really helpful for finding a home that suits you and your family.

Section 8 Assistance: The Four Key Criteria

To get help from Section 8 for a place to live, people and families have to meet some specific requirements. There are four key factors to consider: your citizenship or immigration status, any past evictions, your family’s income, and the type of family you have. These rules are really important because they make sure the people who really need cheaper and safe homes can get help from Section 8. Let’s look more at each of these rules to see how they decide who can get this help.

Income Qualifications

To qualify for Section 8 housing assistance, your household income must generally be below 50% of the median income for your area. Income limits can vary based on family size and location. These families can be classified as low-income, very low-income, or extremely low-income, each with a different threshold. Keep in mind each year, HUD adjusts these limits. Here are some income sources that could be considered during your application:

  • Hourly wages
  • Salaries
  • Overtime pay
  • Alimony
  • Child support
  • Commissions
  • Welfare benefits
  • Retirement fund withdrawals
  • Pension benefits
  • Social Security benefits

Family Status

To get Section 8 help, your family needs to fit what HUD calls a “family.” This can mean different things, like:

  • If there’s someone in your family who is 62 years old or older.
  • If someone in your family has a disability.
  • Whether your family is big or small, with kids or without.
  • If your family had to move out of your home and needs a new place.
  • If you’re the only one left living in your place after others moved out.
  • If you’re just one person living by yourself.


To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or have eligible immigration status. Proof of citizenship or eligible immigration status is required during the application process, which may include a U.S. passport, Social Security card, or Green Card. Birth certificates for children in your household may also be necessary.

Eviction History

The program seeks tenants who follow tenant rules and regulations. If anyone in your household has been evicted within the last three years or convicted of producing methamphetamines in public housing, your application may not be accepted. Previous landlords will be contacted to assess your rental history.

Application Overview

If you’re thinking about applying for Section 8 to help with rent, it’s pretty simple. First, go talk to the Public Housing Agency (PHA) near you. They’ll give you some forms to fill out and explain what to do. The steps might be different in local areas or states. But don’t worry, below we have a guide that shows you, step by step, how it usually works:

  1. Contact your local Public Housing Agency (PHA) to obtain the application form.
  2. Gather necessary documentation
  3. Complete the application accurately, including all household members’ information.
  4. Submit the application to your PHA.
  5. Your PHA will review your application based on eligibility criteria.

Waiting List Strategies

If approved, you may be placed on a waiting list, depending on your state. This is due to the demand for housing help. It’s often that the demand exceeds the available resources, making long wait times pretty common. However, this doesn’t suggest you should simply wait passively. To improve your chances of receiving assistance quicker, consider the following steps:

  • Apply to multiple waiting lists: Applying to several waiting lists increases your chances of receiving assistance.
  • Ensure a reliable mailing address: Make sure your mailing address is dependable to receive notifications quickly.
  • Beware of scams asking for payment: Be cautious of scams requesting payment to move up the waiting list; they are not legitimate.
  • Provide a doctor’s note for medical conditions: If you have a medical condition, a doctor’s note can expedite the application process.
  • Keep income information up to date: Income verification is ongoing, so notify the PHA of any changes promptly.


The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is a big help for people and families who need a place to live. As we’ve talked about what Section 8 is and how it can help here are some main things to remember:

  • Income Qualifications
  • Family Status
  • Citizenship
  • Eviction History

If you think Section 8 is right for you, go talk to the Public Housing Agency (PHA) near you. They’ll help you with the forms and explain everything. If you have to wait, keep your information updated and stay in touch with them. Section 8 has helped lots of families in the United States find homes. So stay prepared, it could be worth the possible wait to find more affordable housing.