How to Apply for Section 8 in Nebraska

Nebraska residents can begin the Section 8 application process by completing preapplications and turning them in to their local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs). Most PHAs prefer or require that applicants apply online unless they are unable to do so. Once a family has submitted a low income housing application, the PHA will contact them to continue to the process. PHA representatives will work with applicants to gather all the personal and financial documentation necessary to verify eligibility and determine whether families are a good fit for the program.

Families who apply for low income housing must provide their PHAs with extensive personal and financial information. This includes supplying PHA representatives with records such as birth certificates, Social Security cards, pay stubs and, where, applicable, acceptance or benefits letters from other state and federal support programs. Applicants must also agree to criminal background checks and to the PHA contacting landlords from whom they have previously rented. 

How to Apply for Section 8 Online in Nebraska

Nebraska PHAs strongly prefer, and may require, that applicants initiate a Section 8 application online. Online applications are more time, energy and cost efficient for PHAs to process and consistently have fewer errors and delays than hard copy applications. 

Each PHA will host its own Section 8 preapplication online. Applicants must visit the websites of the PHAs managing their regions or the regions to which they wish to move and apply for online low income housing assistance using the applications specific to their regions of choice.

Heads of household can expect an online HUD Section 8 application to ask for their:

  • Full names.
  • Current physical and mailing addresses.
  • Contact information (e.g. phone numbers, email addresses).
  • Household gross annual income.
  • Household size and information.

Some PHAs may also ask about the ages, genders and ethnicities of family members on preliminary HUD housing application forms. Some applications will include additional questions about veteran status, displaced persons status or other local priority factors that could influence applicants’ Section 8 eligibility.

In some regions, applicants will find that they cannot currently apply for Section 8 using any method. When all available funding has been allocated and waitlists are extensive, PHAs may elect to close their waitlists and refuse to accept new HUD section 8 applications for a time. When this is the case, it will be clearly stated on PHAs’ application websites and public notices will be made online and in trusted local newspapers when the waitlist reopens.  

Applicants who are willing and able to move outside their current area may still apply for Section 8 assistance in other areas of the state when their local PHA waitlists are closed. If awarded assistance, they will need to relocate to take advantage of their vouchers.

How to Apply for Nebraska Section 8 Housing by Mail

Nebraska applicants must contact their local PHAs for instructions on how to apply for Section 8 housing assistance by mail. Although PHAs may generally require applicants to apply online and will work with families to help them find a way to do so, agencies are required by law to provide accommodations for applicants with disabilities or other circumstances which prevent them from applying online. 

Section 8 applications submitted by mail will need to include the same personal, contact and income information as online applications. 

How to Apply for Nebraska Section 8 Housing in Person

Like mail-in applications, in person applications for low income housing assistance in Nebraska must generally be cleared with applicants’ local PHAs prior to submission. Some PHAs accept in person applications only during certain times of the day or on particular days of the week. Others discourage all in person applications except by special arrangement. 

When and where they are accepted, in person HUD housing applications require applicants to submit the same personal, contact and household income information as their online and mail-in counterparts. 

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

After a family submits a Section 8 application, it will be contacted by its PHA. The PHA will work with the family to collect documentation verifying the information they initially submitted, such as the identities and incomes of each member of the household. Although PHA representatives may assist, it is ultimately applicants’ responsibility to find, procure and turn in appropriate and acceptable documentation. Failure to do so within the time limits established by the PHA may constitute failure to complete an application and result in applicants being denied assistance. 

The PHA will ask for additional information, as needed, and will run background and criminal checks, as appropriate. The PHA will then review the family’s low income housing application against federal and local eligibility criteria. Denial letters will explain any tenant disqualifications for those who do not meet eligibility requirements.

If the family is found to qualify for assistance but no vouchers are available, the household will be added to the PHA’s waitlist. Due to high demand for assistance, families may wait months or even years between when their HUD Section 8 applications are approved and when funding becomes available. 

When families qualify for assistance and funding is available, or when a family reaches the top of the waitlist and a voucher becomes available, the PHA will inform the family and the process of finding a suitable home will begin. In some cases, families may be able to apply their low income housing assistance vouchers to their existing residences. In other cases, families will need to find and select housing that meets HUD’s safety, sanitation and size requirements. Housing must be inspected by the PHA before families can sign lease agreements or move in. 

Once in their new homes, Section 8 housing recipients must pay 30 percent of their gross household income toward rent each month. The balance of their rent will be paid by the PHA directly to the landlords via Section 8 vouchers. Recipients can generally continue to receive assistance unless they cease to meet program eligibility criteria or violate program terms. 

Families receiving low income housing assistance via Section 8 vouchers may become able to “port” their benefits to another region of the state after a certain period of time. Not all PHAs participate equally in the porting program, so recipients will need to clarify their options with their specific PHAs if they are interested in that opportunity. Applicants can get contact information for Nebraska HUD offices by clicking here.