How to Apply for Section 8 in Arkansas

An Arkansas Section 8 application includes the information that public housing agencies (PHAs) need to determine if you are eligible for housing choice vouchers. The steps required to apply for Section 8 will vary slightly based on where you live due to the fact that there are multiple PHAs, all of which have their own procedures. Even though the application process can be different, you will have to follow the same basic steps no matter where you live. 

In some cases, you can submit a Section 8 application online, but most of the time, PHAs only take applications through the mail or in person. Regardless of the method you use to apply for low income housing in Arkansas, you will need to provide information on your household composition, income and citizenship status to be approved. Below, learn more about the application process and find out what happens if you are approved for housing choice vouchers. 

Overview of the Section 8 Application Process in Arkansas

A low income housing application must be submitted to the housing agency that you want to receive assistance from. Due to the popularity of the program, you will usually be placed on a waiting list after you submit your application. Some PHAs will allow you to submit a basic application in order to be placed on the wait list. This form allows the PHA to determine your initial eligibility for the program. If you are selected from the waiting list, though, it is usually necessary to complete a full HUD housing application and provide additional documentation that the PHA can use to determine your final eligibility for vouchers. 

Because PHAs receive so many Section 8 applications in AR, the enrollment periods are typically short and you must sign up before a deadline in order to be considered. When a wait list becomes open, the PHA will advertise it through various methods, such as making an announcement in newspapers and over the radio. You can typically only submit a HUD Section 8 application when a PHA’s waitlist is open. Forms submitted at other times will not be considered. 

How to Submit an Online Section 8 Application in Arkansas

Some PHAs allow you to apply online low income housing, but others do not provide this option. When available, online applications will be advertised on the PHA’s website. You can simply follow the steps provided on the online application to submit your information. PHAs that accept an online Section 8 application in Arkansas will usually remove this feature of their website when the wait list is full, which means you cannot apply online when there are no openings. 

How to Apply for Low Income Housing in Arkansas by Mail

When a PHA does not provide a Section 8 online application process, you can usually submit the required documentation by mail instead. In many cases, you can print an application from your local PHA’s website, pick up a paper form in person or call the PHA to request that they send a form to you. Once you have the Section 8 housing application in hand, be sure to fill out each portion of the form completely. Applications with any missing information will not be processed and you may miss your opportunity to get placed on a waiting list. If you are applying for Section 8 in AR during an open enrollment period, make sure your form is postmarked by the deadline. Late applications may be declined even if you meet the eligibility criteria for the program. You can usually find the correct mailing address printed on the application form or listed on the PHA’s website.  

How to Apply for Housing Assistance in Arkansas in Person

It is common for HUD offices to schedule in-person appointments when you are selected from the waiting list, but a PHA can also require you to hand-deliver your initial application rather than sending it online or through the mail. If you need to submit an application for Section 8 in person, you will need to obtain a copy of the application by picking up a paper form in person, printing a form from the PHA’s website or calling the PHA to request that a form is mailed to you. 

When a PHA requires you to apply for Arkansas Section 8 housing in person, you may be expected to provide documentation that verifies your identity, marital status and income with your initial application. However, most PHAs will only request this information once your name is selected from the wait list. In any case, you should be prepared to provide any of the following documents that are applicable to your situation: 

  • A picture ID for any applicant older than 18 years of age
  • Social Security cards for all members of the household, regardless of age 
  • Marriage or divorce certificates 
  • Child custody agreements
  • The name, address and contact information for employers
  • Information on any other income you may receive from child support, other social programs or investments, among other sources 

What happens after you submit a Section 8 application form in Arkansas?

After you apply for low-income housing, you will usually be placed on a waiting list. The PHA will determine your eligibility by checking your family status, income and citizenship. During the verification process, PHAs oftentimes contact banks, employers and other local agencies to determine whether you qualify for the program and what level of assistance you should receive. 

Your position on the wait list depends on the date and time that you applied as well as any local preferences the PHA may provide for you. For example, it is possible to receive preferential placement if you have an extremely low income or are homeless, among other reasons. While you are waiting, some PHAs do an Arkansas Section 8 application status check by contacting another PHA directly or entering your details on the PHA’s website to see where you are on the list. 

If your application for Section 8 is approved and you reach the top of the wait list, the PHA will mail a letter notifying you of the next steps to take. Most of the time, you will need to attend an interview or appointment, during which the PHA will collect all of the documentation it needs to make a final determination of your eligibility. Be sure to include birth certificates, Social Security cards, financial statements and benefit award letters that verify your qualifications. Even if you supplied these documents during your initial application, keep in mind that circumstances can change from the time you applied to the time the PHA makes your final determination. 

To contact your Arkansas HUD office, click here.