When you apply for Section 8 online you already know you need housing assistance. Waiting for your Section 8 benefits to begin involves joining a waiting list until your low income housing voucher is made available, however. This is often frustrating to experience but worth the wait for those who qualify.
The speed at which you obtain your housing assistance depends on multiple factors. Some of these factors are beyond your control, while others are not. If you meet specific criteria you might be moved up the list as a qualifying exception. Learn all about low income housing and the Section 8 waiting list by reading ahead now.
Section 8 is also referred to as the Housing Choice Voucher Program. This program pays a portion of monthly rent expenses for qualified low-income disabled recipients. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds and oversees the program, which is then operated at the state level via local Public Housing Authority (PHA) agencies.
Because the federal government helps pay for a significant portion of each recipient’s rent, competition to qualify for the program is always competitive and often fierce. Housing shortages and financial hardship have been the norm as opposed to the exception in recent times. Section 8 openings are always valuable but are more so now considering all circumstances.
How long must you wait to get approved for Section 8 housing? Each PHA has permission to structure its program the way it deems appropriate, provided the PHA follows federal guidelines and codes. Waiting lists fill up quickly and applicants are commonly approved in chronological order based on the date they initially apply and are accepted into the program.
This is not always the case, however. Exceptions are sometimes made for applicants who suffer from severe debilitating disabilities or who are at imminent risk of becoming homeless. Again, each state has the discretion to approve or deny exceptions based on each applicant meeting specific criteria.
The amount of time you must spend on the Section 8 housing list is impacted by additional factors as well. For example, regional economic and housing market statistics impact the way your local FHA disburses its funds. The amount of funds your local FHA is provided by the federal government is also partially dependent upon how HUD views the affluence or poverty levels where you live.
When waiting lists fill up and voucher numbers run low, the acceptance of new applications is sometimes temporarily paused. Check with your local PHA to see if waiting list statistics and potential openings are posted online prior to submitting your application. Another effective strategy is to apply through multiple PHAs simultaneously to increase the brevity with which you are approved.
Granted, this strategy requires you to be willing to move to wherever Section 8 housing becomes available but it does improve your chances of a faster approval.