How to Apply for Low Income Housing in Colorado

A Section 8 application in Colorado must be submitted to your local public housing agency (PHA) if you wish to receive assistance paying your rent. Section 8, otherwise known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, which receives funding from HUD and administered at a local level by PHAs. The steps required to apply for Section 8 will vary slightly depending on which PHA you are using due to the fact that each authority has its own process for selecting candidates. 

When you apply for low income housing, you will usually be placed on a waiting list due to the fact that vouchers are in high demand. Therefore, the first application you submit may simply be used to place you on a waiting list. Many PHAs will use a lottery-style drawing to select names at random from the waitlist. If your name is chosen, you will usually need to submit a full HUD housing application that allows the PHA to determine your final eligibility for the program. Below, learn more about how to submit your application for Section 8 and discover what happens if your name is placed on a wait list. 

Information Required for a Section 8 Application in Colorado

When applying for Section 8, you must include the same basic information on your form regardless of the method you use to apply. Before getting started on the application process, it helps to gather the following information about yourself and any family members who will be included on your application: 

  • Social Security Number. 
  • Date of birth and age. 
  • Gender. 
  • Race and ethnicity. 
  • Telephone number and address. 
  • Assets and sources of income. 

Remember, your initial application for Section 8 in CO will usually only include the basic information a PHA needs to determine whether you are eligible for the wait list. You will need to provide more details if you are selected from the wait list to receive housing vouchers. 

How to Submit a Section 8 Application Online in Colorado

Some PHAs will only allow you to apply online for Section 8 when you are trying to get on the wait list for a voucher. Simply visit your PHA’s website or call the office to see if you are permitted to apply online. When PHAs accept online applications, note that this will only get you onto the waiting list. You cannot usually submit a full application for Section 8 online if you are selected for the program. 

If you apply online low income housing in Colorado, note that PHAs usually clear out the waiting list on an annual basis. In such cases, your application is only valid for one year, expiring on December 31 or whichever date is set by the PHA. Housing authorities with an online wait list may hold more than one lottery drawing per year, after which all of the chosen candidates will be contacted. If you are not selected through a lottery drawing during the year, you must apply again in the next open period. In any case, you are not allowed to enter an online lottery drawing more than once per year, as multiple entries may be deleted from the system. 

How to Apply for Low Income Housing in Colorado by Mail

A low income housing application can oftentimes be submitted through the mail if your PHA does not hold an online lottery drawing for the wait list. Some PHAs will have general applications that allow you to be added to the wait list, while other applications may only be used for specific housing units. When filling out a paper application, make sure it fits your intended purpose.

When available, applications for Section 8 may be printed from a PHA’s website or picked up in person by visiting the office. Certain PHAs may allow you to call them in order to request that a paper form is mailed to you. Any time you plan on applying for CO Section 8 by mail, make sure you pay attention to any deadlines that may exist. If you are applying for an open wait list, be aware that many PHAs will only accept applications during a limited timeframe. When you apply through the mail in these cases, your application must be postmarked by the deadline in order for you to be considered. 

How to Apply for Housing Assistance in Colorado in Person

A HUD Section 8 application may need to be hand-delivered depending on the policies of your local PHA. However, it is important to note that some agencies only accept in-person applications if you require assistance filling out your form and are unable to apply online or through the mail. Reasonable accommodations can be made if you have a mental or physical disability that limits a major life activity. If you need help with your Section 8 application in CO due to a disability, you must fill out a “Request for Reasonable Accommodation” form and submit it to your PHA prior to submitting your application.  

Remember that your initial application, sometimes referred to as a pre-application, may be submitted through the mail, in person or online depending on your PHA’s policies. However, a pre-application for Section 8 will only get you on the waiting list. If your name is selected from the waiting list, you should be prepared to attend a mandatory in-person meeting to fill out your full application. This is true regardless of the method you used to submit your initial application. 

At your in-person meeting, you will need to fill out a full Colorado Section 8 application and provide documentation that supports the information on your form. Paperwork you may need to provide includes birth certificates, Social Security cards, employment records, pay stubs, marriage or divorce records, child custody agreements and any other pertinent information for you and the members of your family. 

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

After you apply for Section 8, the PHA will notify you of your position on the waiting list. In most cases, you can expect to be on the waiting list for a long period of time until housing vouchers become available or you are selected through a lottery-style drawing. Once your name is chosen from the list, you will need to attend an in-person interview as described above. However, you may also be able to do a CO Section 8 application status check if you have been waiting for a long period of time and want to know when you will receive assistance. 

In most cases, PHAs will contact you directly once you are chosen from the waiting list, making it unnecessary to check your status. Because PHAs send notifications through the mail, it is important that you keep you mailing address up-to-date if you move after being added to a wait list. 

To contact your Colorado HUD office, click here.