How to Apply for Section 8 in Texas

Before submitting a Texas Section 8 application for housing assistance, make sure you meet all eligibility requirements for the public housing authority where you wish to apply. Each county or area in Texas is served by a different Public Housing Authority (PHA), or by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) directly. Each office may have its own specific requirements, such as precise income limits for that area. If you do not meet Section 8 eligibility requirements in one area, it is worth applying in others to see if you may qualify there. Apply in multiple areas for the best chances of approval for assistance.

There are multiple ways to apply for Section 8 housing in Texas. You can submit your Section 8 application online, by mail or in person. Whichever method you choose, you must still provide the same documentary evidence of the information you provide in the application. Therefore, prepare all your documentation in advance, including making copies to submit. Never submit an original version of a government-issued document. Applications and procedures for applying for Section 8 housing are available in Spanish as well as English.

How to Apply for Section 8 Online in Texas

There is no single online system to apply for Section 8 online because there is no single organization handling Section 8 for all of Texas, as some areas are covered by PHAs while others are handled a TDHCA office. You can, however, contact the specific PHA or TDHCA for an area where you seek assistance to see if you can apply online low income housing. Some PHAs and TDHCA offices may have online systems you can access to complete and submit your Section 8 application online. 

Regardless, however, of whether you can apply for low income housing online, at a particular PHA or TDHCA office, you can search online for affordable housing vacancies in Texas, using the TDHCA’s online Vacancy Clearinghouse. Most, if not all, vacancies found in this clearinghouse are either Section 8 public housing units or units accepting Section 8 housing choice vouchers. You can search by specific cities, counties or zip codes and, even, limit searches to vacancies for seniors, individuals or families only, people on Section 811 Project Rental Assistance or in disaster housing. 

How to Apply for Texas Section 8 Housing by Mail

If you are wondering how to apply for housing assistance by mail, the availability of this service depends on the PHA. Fill out the application completely and mail it to the appropriate office along with copies of all the documentation required. You may have to make the request for the form in person or by phone if the PHA does not have the application available online. 

How to Apply for Texas Section 8 Housing in Person 

If you are wondering how to apply for section 8 housing in person, be aware you must find out what office administers the Section 8 program in the area where you wish to live. The TDHCA serves hundreds of jurisdictions across 34 counties. Beyond those are hundreds of PHAs for various parts of Texas. Not all PHAs administer the Section 8 program, however. Therefore, contact the PHA for an area you are considering, to make sure Section 8 applications are even handled there. If you have any questions about a particular PHA you may dial 211 to access that information or you can call the Public and Indian Housing Information Resource Center at 800-955-2232. If a particular PHA does not administer Section 8 benefits to the area in question, inquire what office does. It may be either a different PHA or a TDHCA office. For help locating the PHA or TDHCA you need to apply for Section 8 assistance in a particular area, call one of the following three HUD Regional offices:

  • Houston (713) 718-3199.
  • Fort Worth (817) 978-5700.
  • San Antonio (210) 475-6806.

If your office handles in-person transactions, bring a completed HUD housing application or fill one out when you visit the PHA or TDHCA office handling the area where you are seeking assistance. You can help to expedite the process of applying in person by obtaining an HUD Section 8 application to fill out ahead of your visit by either picking one up at the same office in advance, downloading it off the Internet or calling, emailing or writing the office to request one be sent to you. When you submit your application, you must also submit copies of all required documentation in order for processing of your application to go smoothly. For all transactions not completed online, confirm with your PHA about services offered by mail or in person.

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

All families applying for Section 8 assistance are placed on a waiting list with the PHA where they apply. When assistance next becomes available, the next eligible family on the waiting list according to HUD guidelines is selected. If particular funding is earmarked specifically for families with certain characteristics, this could change the order in which families are selected from the waiting list. You can always request a Section 8 application status check by calling or visiting the PHA where you applied. 

If any PHA to which you apply for Section 8 assistance requests you provide any additional information or documentation to confirm any aspect of your eligibility, you must provide it immediately. Otherwise, you could delay your HUD Section 8 application or even cause your application to be denied. The PHA may also request additional information and documentation to determine what level of Section 8 assistance to award you. 

While reviewing your Section 8 application, the PHA will make sure the current and prior activities of any household member do not include any behaviors prohibited by the PHA or HUD. These activities and behaviors include any criminal activity, be it drug-related, violent or occurring in the immediate vicinity of the PHA unit where applying. A rejection letter will detail any tenant disqualifications. They also include previous violations while in assisted housing. In addition, you can be denied Section 8 benefits if you are found to have deliberately misrepresented any eligibility information on your application. If you believe you are still qualified, you can being the Section 8 appeals process to have the PHA review your application again or resubmit corrected information, as necessary. You can click here for Texas HUD contact information.