How to Apply for Section 8 in Missouri

Section 8 application policies will be slightly different from one Missouri Public Housing Agency (PHA) to the next. Most agencies accept applications online or in person. However, due to high demand for services, some PHAs in the state have closed their waiting lists indefinitely. Households in regions where wait lists are closed may wish to apply for section 8 in a different region if they are willing and able to move should they be awarded support. 

Before applying through any method, applicants should prepare by gathering all relevant documents. This will streamline the application process, reduce delays and prevent applications from being denied due to incomplete information. To apply for low income housing applicants must be prepared to provide personal and financial information for all members of their households. Although they may not need all of their documentation immediately, it can be helpful to order certified copies of documents in advance as they may take some time to arrive.

How to Apply for Section 8 Online in Missouri

PHAs that offer a Section 8 application online or require online pre-applications will have clearly marked links on their individual websites. Applicants can expect that they will need to provide names, dates of birth and Social Security Numbers for all members of their households with their initial applications. PHAs will also request basic household income information at that time. 

When families apply online for low income housing, it is typically only the first step in a larger application process. Once an application is received, the PHA assigns a representative to work with the applicant to finish the process. The representative will collect supporting documentation, such as birth certificates, Social Security cards and pay stubs to verify application information and to ensure that all eligibility factors have been fully and appropriately assessed. 

How to Apply for Missouri Section 8 Housing by Mail

Applicants who wish to submit a HUD Section 8 application by mail should first contact their local PHAs in person or by phone to make appropriate arrangements. Few Missouri PHAs, if any, routinely accept hard-copy mail-in applications. Most offices, however, will make accommodation for applicants upon request and when necessary. 

How to Apply for Missouri Section 8 Housing in Person

Missouri applicants should review their local PHA offices’ policies before attempting to turn in their low income housing application in person. Although most offices accept in person applications, they may only do so during certain days or hours. For example, the Kansas City PHA only accepts applications on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Applicants can download the necessary application forms from their PHAs’ websites and should take care to complete them fully before turning them in. Incomplete applications will not be processed. Like an online application, a hard copy HUD housing application will ask applicants to supply the names, ages, birth dates and Social Security Numbers of each member of the household. It will also require that applicants provide income information for all members of the family. If this information is falsified or out of date, you run the risk of having your application denied. 

PHA representatives will review initial Section 8 applications and schedule appointments in person or by phone to continue the application process. During the next steps, applicants will need to obtain copies of key documents such as birth certificates and Social Security cards if they do not already have them and submit them to the PHA along with pay stubs and other records supporting their income claims. 

As part of the HUD Section 8 application process, applicants may be required to submit information regarding their housing history and to submit to a criminal background check. 

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

Once a PHA has received a family’s fully complete Section 8 application, including all required supporting documentation, it will conduct an eligibility review. If a family is found to be ineligible for support, the PHA will issue a notice to that effect. If a family is technically eligible but is deemed to be an ill fit for the program, a deniable of benefits will be issued explaining the reasoning behind the decision. 

For example, a family might be denied assistance if its annual income exceeds the HUD-established limits for the family’s size. Alternatively, a family who applied for Section 9 benefits might be denied funding even though it meets the income eligibility criteria if it has an extensive history of breaking leases and property damage, which indicate that the family would not be a good fit for the Section 8 program. 

If HUD housing applicants are approved for support but no funding is available at the time, the family will be waitlisted. Families are waitlisted in the order in which they applied. Some PHAs, however, allow at-risk or priority applicants to be moved to the top of the waitlist, regardless of when they apply. 

Waitlisted applicants can periodically conduct a Section 8 application status check by calling the PHA to see where they stand. Alternatively, some PHAs offer text updates whenever a family’s status changes. When funding becomes available, the next family on the list will be notified. Applicants should be aware, however, that several PHAs in Missouri have waitlists more than three years long. 

Applicants who apply for housing assistance, are found eligible and awarded, and for whom funding is immediately available will have 60 days to locate housing within the PHA’s region that meets HUD safety, sanitation and size standards. They will negotiate a lease with the landlord of the property within HUD-established limits. PHA representatives can assist with either or both of those steps, at awardees’ discretion. 

Once leases have been implemented, HUD housing applicants are free to remain in their new homes unless or until they violate program rules, fail to pay or abide by their leases, or cease to meet program eligibility standards. Section 8 benefits are fully portable. Families are free to select new housing as their needs change and to take their benefits with them, so long as they remain in Missouri and follow appropriate procedures for information their PHAs. 

For more information on the application process, find an official HUD agency to contact in Missouri by clicking, here.