Your Section 8 Guide to Finding the Right Home For You

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) can help.

The HUD supports three programs for low-income applicants, including the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly known as Section 8), affordable public housing, and privately-owned, subsidized housing. Through the HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, you can search for your own affordable housing units and use your Section 8 vouchers to pay for all or part of your rent.

To obtain a list of low income apartments for rent through the HUD’s public housing program, however, you must contact your local public housing agency (PHA), as this program does not allow you to select your own affordable units.

As another option, many privately-owned HUD homes for rent are listed on the Department’s website if you wish to look for subsidized housing in a specific city near you.

To learn more about these affordable housing opportunities and where to find them, review the sections below.

Who is eligible for Section 8 houses for rent?

To search for Section 8 listings that allow you to use your Housing Choice Vouchers to pay for all or part of your rent, you must first determine whether you are eligible for rental assistance through this program.

To receive Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, for instance, you must meet income restrictions for the size of your household and the city in which you wish to live. In most cases, your household income must not exceed 50 percent of the median income in the county where you wish to reside.

If you believe you may qualify for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, you must apply for assistance by contacting the local PHA in the city where you wish to live. If you do qualify for Section 8 rental housing, your local PHA will add your name to a waiting list. 

The HUD provides information on the PHAs online. If you want to find detailed information about the PHA in your area, the HUD provides this as well. For instance, housing authority profiles can show you the amount of units that might be available within their jurisdiction. Learn more about your local PHA through the housing authority profiles.

Once your name reaches the top of the Section 8 list, you can use your Housing Choice Vouchers to pay for all or part of the rent at a property of your choosing.

Where to Find Section 8 Houses for Rent Near You

When looking for Section 8 homes for rent, the HUD provides you with the opportunity to find your own affordable housing, as long as the housing unit meets health and safety regulations. Additionally, the unit must pass an inspection.

After you become eligible for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, your PHA will provide you with additional details about the size of the property you are eligible for.

If you are wondering how to get low income housing fast, keep in mind that this program may not be the best option for you unless you are homeless, residing in substandard housing, were involuntary displaced from your home or spend more than 50 percent of your household income on rent.

If you meet any of these conditions, your PHA may move you to the top of the waiting list.

How to Find Public HUD Housing for Rent

While eligibility requirements vary by PHA, you can typically qualify for public housing through the HUD if you are elderly, meet income restrictions or hold a disability.

However, you must submit an HUD housing application directly to the local PHA in the city where you plan to live if you wish to apply for affordable public housing. Refer to the HUD’s website to obtain a list of PHA contact information in your state.

After applying for rental assistance through your local Public Housing Authority, the PHA will notify you if you are eligible for participation in this HUD program. The PHA will then add your name to a waiting list, unless you qualify for immediate assistance.

Once your name reaches the top of this HUD rental housing waiting list, you will receive an offer for an affordable home or apartment as units become available in your desired area.

If you receive an offer for a public HUD home for rent, you will need to sign a lease with your PHA. In some cases, you may need to submit a security deposit as well. After signing the lease, you can typically reside at the property for as long as you wish, as long as you comply with the terms of your rental agreement.

“After submitting an HUD housing application and finding a home within the public housing market, what happens if my income increases?” you may wonder.

If your income increases in the future, keep in mind that your PHA may require you to move from public housing to the privately-owned subsidized housing market. 

How to Find Privately-Owned HUD Homes for Rent Near You

To find privately-owned and subsidized HUD homes for rent listings in your area of residence, you can search for available properties directly under the website of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The HUD provides you with access to its interactive Resource Locator, helping you to find privately-owned and subsidized rental units in your desired area.

To obtain a list of HUD rental home listings near you, you must provide a city or full address to search for available properties within that region.

After performing the search, you can click on any of the available listings to obtain specific information about the privately-owned housing program, as well as the different types of units that may be available.

In most major cities, your search for privately-owned, subsidized housing will include information about the following types of properties:

  • Multifamily properties
  • Low-income HUD rental housing tax credit properties
  • USDA rural housing
  • Public housing buildings
  • Public housing developments
  • Homeless services and Continuum of Care (CoC) programs

Once you find an HUD home for rent that interests you, you must contact its management office directly to inquire about any vacancies and begin the application process.

While the HUD’s Resource Locator tool may include a property’s total number of affordable units, it does not tell you whether these units are vacant at that time. Instead, you must contact the management office directly to obtain this information.

When submitting an HUD housing application, it is also important to remember that each property owner may require you to meet certain eligibility requirements in addition to basic income restrictions for the size of your household.

When you contact the rental property’s management office to apply for assistance, remember to ask about these additional eligibility requirements.

Resources for Finding Section 8 Housing