How to Apply for Section 8 in Maryland

Completing a Section 8 application in Maryland is a way in which applicants can discover whether or not they are approved for low-income housing vouchers in their counties of residence. Before an applicant can apply for Section 8, he or she must first determine whether or not his or her household meets the eligibility requirements. The designated paperwork will require a variety of personal information and can then be submitted to the Maryland Housing Authority. 

Knowing how to apply for low income housing in Maryland is a great place to begin. Depending on the county in which an applicant lives, the regulations regarding how an application can be submitted may change. For example, certain counties may allow an online pre-application, while others may not. 

How to Apply for Section 8 Online in Maryland 

A Maryland Section 8 application online is not always available in every county. There are some Maryland counties in which an online application can only be submitted in person or by mail. Additionally, the ability to complete online Section 8 applications may also be withdrawn at any point, especially when the waiting list has reached maximum capacity.

For those counties that do allow an online application to be completed, the process is simple. For example, Harford County, Maryland does allow an online pre-application to be submitted. The pre-application for Section 8 will gather enough personal information from the applicant, and the applicant’s household, in order to determine whether or not he or she is eligible to continue on through the process. The pre-application will require information such as the following:

  • Names
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Birthdates
  • Income information for household members

Once an applicant submits the pre-application online, he or she will be notified of moving on to the eligibility interview. The Section 8 pre-application can only be submitted online in Hartford County; it cannot be submitted to the Harford County Housing & Community Development (HCHCD) office. To determine a county’s regulations regarding online applications, visit the county website.

How to Apply for Maryland Section 8 Housing by Mail 

There are some Maryland counties that offer the possibility of submitting a Section 8 application by mail. When a waiting list for a particular county opens, applicants should check how to apply for housing assistance for that county to verify how the application should be submitted. When submitting a low income housing application by mail, it is important to first obtain a copy of the application via the local housing authority. Most Maryland county Housing Authority offices offer the ability to download and print an application from the website in order to fill it out by hand. In Hagerstown, Maryland, for instance, applicants have the ability to print the application and mail it back to the local housing authority. Applicants may also have the option to obtain an HUD housing application in person, to fill it out at a later date and submit it by mail. It is important to check with each county Housing Authority to verify if mailing a Section 8 application is acceptable.

How to Apply for Maryland Section 8 Housing in Person 

The third way in which low-income families can apply for Section 8 in Maryland is in person. An in person visit will require the applicant to apply for low income housing at any one of the physical local Housing Authority offices. An in-person visit for Section 8 is usually recommended for applicants who need assistance with the process, or those who have questions that need to be answered during the application. Some counties may not allow for an in-person visit to fill out an application, especially when they have a pre-application process in place. Applicants should also be aware that if the housing application for HUD is closed for a specific Maryland county, then the Housing Authority will likely not take any walk-in appointments to apply for assistance. 

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

The steps that can occur after a Section 8 application in Maryland is submitted will depend on the county in which an applicant is applying. The way in which an applicant will proceed through the Section 8 housing application process can vary. For example, in Hagerstown, Maryland, once the application is submitted, it will take two to three weeks to process. Regardless of how long it takes to process the application, the date in which it was submitted will be retained and used to place an applicant on the waiting list. Notifications for approval for a low income housing application will be mailed out, and oftentimes, an eligibility interview will result. The eligibility interview will determine important information, such as criminal background history, drug- or violence-related criminal activity and any previous evictions from a federally assisted housing program. 

An applicant that passes the HUD Section 8 application eligibility interview will then be placed on the waiting list. While the Housing Authority does not usually provide updates the Section 8 application status check, depending on the county, there may be options online to do so. Harford County is the perfect example, as the same website used to submit the online pre-application can also be used to log in and check the status of the Section 8 application.

Applicants should always keep their information as current as possible with their local housing authorities. Since the Housing Authority will reach out to the applicants by mail in order to verify waiting list status, keeping the address current is critical. Many counties will offer a form to update the address on the application while on the waiting list. Frederick County, Maryland for example, offers a downloadable Waiting List Address Change Form that can be completed and mailed back or delivered in person, in order to keep all records current.

To contact your Maryland HUD office, click here