While Section 8 houses for rent, and other living arrangements the program, sponsors provide beneficiaries with great opportunities, it can be difficult to find housing options immediately, leaving them homeless or stuck in poor living conditions. GoSection8 helps match low-income families and individuals with affordable housing accommodations in their area. Families struggling to find suitable Section 8 housing can take advantage of this nationwide online service options.
However, you must already be enrolled in the Housing Choice Voucher Program. More commonly known as Section 8, the program, through a local public housing agency, covers part of your monthly rent and living costs. In some cases, the agency may cover the full cost of rent. To learn how you can find Section 8 rentals listings quickly, read the following sections.
What is GoSection8?
Go Section 8 is one of the largest collections of affordable housing options in the country. Interested landlords with readily available apartments that accept Section 8 are able to post open listings on the sits for free, making it easier for you to find vacancies in your area. More listings can be found here than on nearly any other housing website, so check it out if you’re in the market for a house or apartment and have HUD housing assistance.
To begin searching for Section 8 housing on GoSection8.com, enter your city, state or ZIP code. You will see a list appear featuring the address and/or name of the rental along with a small image of the rental building. Next to the picture will be the monthly rent price, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the unit, and the type of rental it is (i.e., an apartment or a house).
Additionally, you can often see whether you will need to present your Section 8 voucher during the application process as a potential renter. Scrolling down to the bottom of your search results will reveal a list of the local housing agencies that govern your search area. When you select an agency, GoSection8 should inform you if a Section 8 waiting list is in open or if the list is closed due to too much demand.
Where to Look for Section 8 Housing
To find apartments that take Section 8 vouchers, you should go online. Section 8 housing can often be found on regular apartment-hunting websites and applications like Zillow, Trulia, Zumper and HotPads. These apps will allow you to filter search results to show only rentals that will accept low-income vouchers or HUD assistance.
As a bonus, the apps will work on-the-go, enabling you to continue your rental search no matter where you are. As previously mentioned, GoSection8 is another useful online resource for anyone with HUD vouchers. It takes the guessing out of your search and quickens the process of finding your new home.
However, Section 8 can be confusing and may complicate some application processes for rentals. Therefore, you may also refer to your local housing agencies for assistance in finding a place. Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) not only manage the Section 8 program in a certain district but also all retain all related information on it, meaning you can go to them for advice on locating a rental and even on maintaining a rental you already have.
Note: Because it may take a while for a property to be approved by Section 8 standards, HUD recommends that you do not rely on landlords who may promise housing in the future once their building passes inspection.
What about the Section 8 waiting list?
An open Section 8 waiting list can enable a local housing agency to notify you when there are Section 8 openings or when you should reapply for housing assistance. PHAs may establish local preferences to expedite the housing placement for some Section 8 applicants based on the applicants’ income, current living conditions and displacement status.
Only individuals and families on a Section 8 waiting list may be placed in housing reserved for HUD voucher recipients, but many lists may not be open to new applicants at all because of the limited housing resources and the inability to place all low-income beneficiaries in suitable housing in the foreseeable future. Consequently, before a PHA closes its waiting list, Section 8 beneficiaries may experience long waiting periods lasting months if not years.
Following the long waiting period, Section 8 recipients only have 60 days to find a place that meets HUD’s standards. Applicants must sign a renter’s lease as soon as possible to prevent their voucher from expiring and having to re-enter the waiting list.
When should you begin searching for Section 8 homes or apartments?
As soon as you receive your voucher from your Section 8 office, start looking for available rentals. In fact, you are advised to begin searching for Section 8 housing as soon as you are put on the waiting list. As mentioned in the prior section, you only have 60 days to find a Section 8 home or apartment and enter into a lease once your voucher is issued.
Your lease must last for at least one year, and your rental must be deemed safe, sanitary and decent by the HUD. However, your PHA may grant you an extension depending on the level of effort you spend searching for a rental, the local housing market and other extenuating circumstances.
This time restriction is enforced because a family must be reevaluated for acceptance in Section 8 after 60 days, or two months, of inactivity according to HUD regulations. PHAs must request updated financial and personal records from all applicants again regardless of the individual’s or family’s previous application status. If beneficiaries believe they may not find housing within the 60-day period, then they must contact their local PHA.
Note: The 60-day period only applies to the time from the issuance of the voucher to the time a lease is signed, not the occupancy date. Therefore, you may choose to move into a Section 8 rental after the 60-day period has ended as long as the lease has already been signed.