How to Apply for Section 8 in Montana

Submitting a Section 8 application in Montana in a multi-step process. Although hard copy applications remain available, PHAs uniformly encourage applicants to submit their initial applications online. Preliminary applications ask applicants to supply personal identifying information about themselves and the other members of their households. To apply for section 8, applicants will also need to answer questions about their income and any income other members of their households are receiving. This includes providing information about certain types of assets including pensions and real property. 

In accordance with Section 8 eligibility criteria, applicants will need to verify that they are United States citizens or qualifying resident immigrants. They will also need to list contact numbers and addresses at which they can reliably be reached. Once applicants have submitted an initial low income housing application, they can expect to be contacted about continuing the process with the assistance of a PHA representative.

How to Apply for Section 8 Online in Montana

Prospective applicants can complete the Montana State Section 8 Application online at any time. The application is available in a wide variety of languages for applicants’ convenience. The HUD Section 8 application online form requires applicants to provide their:

  • Full names.
  • Social Security Numbers.
  • Dates of birth.
  • Gender.
  • Ethnicity.
  • Disability status.
  • Phone numbers.
  • Email addresses (if available).
  • Mailing addresses.

When they apply online for low income housing, applicants will also need to list the names, dates of birth, Social Security Numbers, genders and ethnicities of each of the other members of their households. 

The Section 8 preliminary application will also ask for crucial income information, including who in the household is receiving income, in what amounts and how often. Applicants will need to supply their PHAs with the current balances of their checking accounts, savings accounts and investments. They will need to state the value of any real property they own, as well. 

Online Section 8 applications are typically processed faster and more smoothly than their hard copy counterparts. State PHAs urge applicants without access to internet at home to utilize internet connections at their local libraries or friends’ or families’ houses to submit their applications online rather than hard copy whenever possible.

How to Apply for Montana Section 8 Housing by Mail

Applicants who cannot submit their low income housing applications online may download and complete a hard copy application. All applications must be completely and legible filled out in order to be processed. 

HUD housing applications can be submitted by mail to:

Department of Commerce (MDOC)
Section 8 Housing Program
PO Box 200545
Helena, MT 59620-0545

Applicants must sign all hard copy applications before they are submitted, or they will not be accepted. 

How to Apply for Montana Section 8 Housing in Person

Applicants who cannot submit their Section 8 applications online should send them in by mail. If an applicant is unable to use either of those methods, he or she should contact his or her local PHA by phone to make arrangements to apply in person, as necessary.  

In some cases, regardless of how they submitted their initial Section 8 applications, applicants will need or wish to meet with a PHA representative in person during the secondary application steps. For example, after applicants have submitted their preliminary low income housing applications, they will need to find and submit documents verifying the information on those applications. This may include but is not limited to:

  • Birth certificates. 
  • Social Security cards.
  • Pay stubs.
  • Medical documentation of disability diagnoses. 
  • Tenancy references.

PHAs may also require applicants to meet with a representative at least once face-to-face prior to having their completed applications reviewed. 

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

Once all the necessary documentation has been collected and reviewed, applicants’ HUD housing applications will be reviewed and assessed against Section 8 guidelines. Applicants who do not meet both federal Section 8 requirements and their PHAs’ supplemental criteria, where applicable, will be issued formal notices of denial of benefits. These denials will explicitly state the reason applicants will not receive benefits and list tenant disqualifications. 

Ideally, families that apply for Section 8 benefits and meet all necessary criteria would immediately receive vouchers and begin searching for suitable housing. However, waitlists in Montana currently range from 18 months to three years in length, on average. As a result, most qualifying applicants will simply be added to their regions’ waitlists. 

While waiting for funding to become available, applicants can use Montana’s online system to periodically run a Section 8 application status check to see where they stand on the waitlist. As funding becomes available, applicants’ waitlist numbers will go down. If new applicants who meet regional priority criteria apply and are bumped to the top of the list, existing applicants’ waitlist numbers may go up. 

When applicants reach the top of the waitlist and funding becomes available, the PHA will notify them. Families have 90 days from the time at which they are issued their vouchers to find suitable housing that complies with all HUD standards. Selected housing must pass PHA inspection before voucher holders can sign their leases. All the parties involved will then sign a Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA) specifying the total rent, the amount the tenants will pay and the amount to be paid by the PHA. Low income housing assistance recipients must pay 30 percent of their adjusted gross income in rent. The Section 8 program will be the remainder of their monthly rent.

Section 8 applicants are required to update their PHA whenever their incomes, contact information or family compositions change. This is true while they are on waitlists and while actively receiving vouchers. In addition, PHAs review applicant and recipient eligibility annually. Recipients can typically expect to continue receiving vouchers unless or until they break their contracts or cease to qualify due to changes in income or disability status.

After low income housing assistance recipients have received vouchers for at least 12 months, they may become eligible to move out of their PHAs’ regions. Applicants must work with their PHAs in advance to verify that they do, in fact, qualify to “port” their vouchers to another region, as rules and availability vary from region to region. Residents can click here for Montana contact information.