How to Apply for Section 8 in Tennessee

If you believe you may be eligible for Section 8 housing in Tennessee, submit your Tennessee Section 8 application as soon as you are able to do so. There are several ways to apply for Section 8 assistance, including online, by mail and in person. To prepare yourself to apply for public housing or housing choice vouchers through Section, contact the HUD office serving the part of Tennessee where you are interested in living.

You should first make sure Section 8 applications are accepted for that area. Contact the Tennessee Housing Development Authority (THDA) to find out if any waiting lists are currently open for which to apply. In addition, announcements of waiting lists opening are advertised in local papers. The announcement will include the time and date the list will reopen for a low income housing application submission for new applicants and the website to utilize. If a waiting list in an area you are interested in is open, find out the current income limits for that area and your demographic. The specialist who helps you will inquire about the size of your family in order to help you get a basic idea whether you may be approved for assistance and, if so, how soon. PHAs will send out rejection letters for anyone not qualified for assistance, and these letters with list reasons for tenant disqualification.

How to Apply for Section 8 Housing Online in Tennessee

You can start the process for a Section 8 application online via the HUD website. Remember to confirm if you can apply for low income housing in as many counties as you. Each county may have slightly different requirements, nut this may be able to help you increase your odds and speed of finding housing. Just make sure you only apply in counties where you could actually live if approved for Section 8 housing or vouchers there. After you submit your initial low income housing application online, you will either be directed right away or contacted later with instructions for proceeding with your initial interview consultation. If Section 8 housing or vouchers are available at the time of your application, you will be given instructions to apply online low income housing or vouchers right away. If you are placed on a waiting list instead, you will be contacted with further instructions once your name approaches the top of the list. The initial interview consultation that comes next is conducted in person. Many counties offer a pre-application if the waiting list is not open, and you may need to complete a few applications if you apply for multiple waiting lists.

 How to Apply for Tennessee Section 8 Housing by Mail

If you want to know how to apply for Section 8 housing by mail, contact the THDA or PHA serving the county you are looking for. Tennessee has 32 housing authorities in all. In addition, some areas are served by the THDA directly. The THDA has the following four regional offices, covering 72 counties in the state:

  • East Tennessee – 1525 East Spring Street, Suite A, Cookeville, TN 38506 (931-520-0608).
  • Middle Tennessee – 160 Cude Lane, Madison, TN 37115 (615-564-1200).
  • South Central Tennessee – 1576 Old Columbia Road, Lewisburg, TN 37091 (931-270-9183).
  • West Tennessee – Lowell Thomas State Office Building, 225 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Suite 405B, Jackson, TN 38301 (731-410-2270).

In addition, the Central Office of the THDA can be found at 502 Deaderick Street Andrew Jackson Building, Third Floor, Nashville, TN 37243 (615-815-2200).

When you call the PHA or THDA office in the county or counties you are interested in living, request a paper HUD housing application for that county be mailed to you if it is not available online. You can also visit the given office in person and pick up an application to take home, fill out and return by mail. If you wish to apply in multiple counties, you must fill out separate applications for each county. You must also submit copies of all required documentation with each application. Do not send originals of any government-issued documentation, only copies. 

 How to Apply for Tennessee Section 8 Housing in Person

To submit a HUD Section 8 application in person, confirm with your PHA about acceptance methods and hours. Make sure to gather all the documentation you will need to prove your Section 8 eligibility. That will include pay stubs, proof of citizenship, social security numbers, names and social security numbers for all household members, and any other documentation listed on the specific PHA website. Then, call the PHA office serving the area where you want to live to set up an initial interview with a HUD specialist. The HUD specialist you speak with will do a Section 8 application status check, looking over what you have brought to make sure you have everything you need. Once you do, he or she will help you start the Section 8 application process. You can also contact local PHA office to submit HUD housing applications for open waiting lists for public housing. Some PHAs may allow residents to submit applications at all times, but applicants may still be placed on a waiting list.

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

Now that you know how to apply for housing assistance, once you have completed the Section 8 application process, you sit back and wait for a letter of approval. If your application is rejected, you may be able to complete the Section 8 appeals process. When you receive your approval letter, bring it and your voucher with you whenever you fill out another application for an apartment. Many types of housing, including apartments, single-family homes and mobile homes, can qualify as acceptable Section 8 housing provided it is sanitary, safe and in decent condition as the Housing Quality Standards of the program defines. 

If you find out Section 8 applications are not being accepted at a particular HUD for a certain area, you can be placed on a waiting list. You can also inquire of other HUD offices in other parts of the state to see if you may be able to apply for public housing or a housing choice voucher there. If you are on a Section 8 waiting list, then, once enrollment opens again, you are notified to proceed with your application. Open enrollment is difficult to predict as waiting periods are affected by turnover of families being assisted and annual funding awards from Congress. If your HUD Section 8 application has already been received by the Memphis HUD office and not yet been processed, it will have priority over new applications once enrollment ultimately reopens. At that time, a specialist will contact you to ensure the information on your application remains current and accurate. Click here to get Tennessee HUD contact information.