How to Apply for Section 8 in Pennsylvania

The Section 8 application in Pennsylvania is similar to the applications you might have submitted in other states across the country. To apply for Section 8 in PA, you must meet the minimum eligibility requirements set by the federal government and the local housing authority. The Department for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) oversees all Section 8 programming, which also called as the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program.

The Section 8 application online option enables you to search for your possible housing options efficiently and quickly through online databases. Make sure you learn how to apply for low income housing, but only after you find out if you are qualified to apply in PA. Remember that the federal government sets standards, but then each local Public Housing Authority (PHA) can also institute its own eligibility factors and income limits. Always be sure to confirm current standards with your own PHA in case they have additional requirements.

How to Apply for Section 8 Online in Pennsylvania

The low income housing application in Pennsylvania can be submitted in a variety of ways. Note that you are required to submit any supporting documentation requested by your PHA to prove your qualifications, so always have those documents ready just in case. Knowing how to apply for Section 8 housing can make the process easier and quicker, so be sure to follow these steps.

You can apply online for low income housing if your local PHA allows such an application process. Online is typically the easiest and fastest application method. If you need a paper application, make sure to contact your housing authority. You can find the contact information for your local PHA through the HUD database with all city and county PHAs in Pennsylvania listed. 

Alternatively, you can use the PAHousingSearch website to find and apply for Section 8 properties and to receive detailed information. A recent relaunch of that website now enables you to hide any waitlisted properties from your search results, so you will waste less time in your search. This helps you to find the properties that are currently available instead.

Make sure you select only properties that accept Section 8 applications. Those properties will have a checkmark in the “PB 8” box, showing that those properties accept Housing Choice Vouchers and Section 8 subsidies. When using this site to search, keep in mind that it may not have all available options for Section 8 housing.

How to Apply for Pennsylvania Section 8 Housing by Mail

To submit a HUD housing application by mail, you will have to first contact your local PHA to obtain the currently required paperwork. Remember to first ask whether or not your PHA is accepting new applications since many waiting lists are closed when they reach capacity. A HUD Section 8 application will only be accepted by PHAs with currently available properties or whose waiting lists are not yet full. You can always contact your local PHA directly for details on current application options.

If you can submit a Section 8 application by mail, per your PHA requirements, then you must completely fill out the application details, provide any required supporting documentation and then mail the form and copies of your proof for Section 8 eligibility to the address provided on the application or by the PHA office. Make sure to inquire as to when you might hear back from the office and what timeframe you can expect for processing your mailed application.

How to Apply for Pennsylvania Section 8 Housing in Person

If you are confused as to how to apply for housing assistance or if you just want extra help going through the application requirements, then you should visit your local PHA office in person to submit an application. There, a member of staff should be able to help you understand and answer the relevant questions. Applying in person can ensure you complete the application as accurately as possible and do not waste time submitting an incomplete or incorrect version.

If you want to apply for Section 8 in person at the office, you should bring relevant documentation with you to avoid requiring a second visit to the PHA. Consider bringing the following:

  • Personal details for all members of your household: This should include full legal names, dates of birth and Social Security Numbers.
  • Income details for your household: Your income details should include your total monthly and annual income for all members of your household.
  • Residency and citizenship details: If everyone in your household is a U.S. citizen, then bring the Social Security Numbers as proof. If anyone is an immigrant, be sure you have proof of legal status with immigration documentation. Proof of current address for everyone is also helpful.

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

Doing a Section 8 application status check can be as easy as contacting your local PHA after submitting your application. Always follow the specific guidelines provided by your PHA when you apply, however, and do not follow up in person, by phone or by email unless you are allowed to do so per their instructions. 

When you apply for Section 8 housing, you will receive detailed information regarding your next steps. If you ever are confused or have questions about your application, you should go ahead and reach out to the office for clarification. You do not want to miss a deadline for submitting additional information or miss an interview, so be sure to ask if you have questions.

Also remember that Section 8 applications are not based on single properties. Applying for Section 8 and receiving assistance means that you and your family can use your Housing Choice Vouchers at any acceptable property. That also means that you can choose to move and still keep your housing assistance, as long as you still qualify. You should not require a new application if you move or if your current housing fails an annual inspection. If you are denied housing assistance, a rejection letter should outline tenant disqualifications.