Section 8 housing lists play a key role in empowering eligible applicants to choose their housing with autonomy. Section 8 house listings organized and updated by PHAs reduce the amount of time, energy and stress program recipients face in identifying and selecting qualifying housing units that meet the extensive list of minimum safety and sanitation criteria required by HUD guidelines. Recipients who prefer to do their searching retain the right to utilize whatever alternative resources they want to locate housing, including websites, local rental listings and realtors. If the housing units they select are in any way deficient when assessed by the PHA or if the landlord or owner declines to make the property available for PHA inspection, then recipients must begin their searches again. Pre-qualified Section 8 apartment listings avoid that problem and the associated delays entirely.
What are the Section 8 housing unit standards?
Federal regulations require that Section 8 housing funds only be utilized to help pay for the rental of housing units that meet high and well-defined health and safety standards. A PHA’s list of Section 8 houses can substantially reduce the amount of time and energy required to find qualified properties and landlords or owners in compliance with minimum applicable HUD standards relating to:
- Unit location/surroundings, including security factors.
- Sanitary facilities, food preparation accommodations and garbage disposal.
- Heating, cooling and lighting.
- Air and water supply and quality.
- Structural integrity and accessibility.
Some properties not on a Section 8 rental housing list have owners and managers who are disinclined to either ensure their properties are up to par or to allow PHA representatives access to perform required inspections. A PHA’s list of Section 8 rentals can direct program recipients to properties and landlords that are already familiar with and compliant in program requirements. Download our free housing guide for seniors for more information on HUD requirements for qualified rental homes.
Learn About Section 8 Jurisdictions
Eligible recipients may initially select an approved Section 8 house listing anywhere within a PHA’s designated jurisdiction. Although Section 8 housing funds are intended to be “portable,” allowing families to move or select different housing units as their needs change, PHAs have limited areas of jurisdiction. On occasion, HUD will place strategic limits on housing location options to promote desegregation or to comply with a court order. A list of Section 8 rentals can play a key role in situations like these, where selections are more restricted or targeted than usual. Aside from these federally ordered exceptions, PHAs are prohibited from influencing or determining a senior’s selection of housing units.
How to Find Section 8 Housing
Many recipients use Section 8 housing lists although they are free to select their housing. This is because a list of Section 8 rentals is easier to navigate with the personal restrictions PHAs place on enrollees. After applying for Section 8 housing, approved seniors will review with the PHA the following crucial information:
- The type of housing an applicant may select
- The size of the housing unit an applicant may select
- The various monetary restrictions associated with Section 8 assistance
Section 8 house listings provided by the PHA can ease the process of locating an eligible housing option that fit the specific percentage of recipients’ annual gross adjusted incomes toward rent and utilities. The use of Section 8 apartment listings also guarantees that applicants do not accidentally select excluded types of housing or housing units owned or managed by landlords who are unwilling to allow PHA inspections. Section 8 rental housing lists additionally ensure that all properties a senior considers fall with the boundaries of his or her PHA’s jurisdiction. Using a list of Section 8 houses alleviates many of the stresses, delays and other challenges associated with house hunting in general and the search for housing units that meet HUD’s requirements for Section 8 assistance in particular. It also ensures that recipients will not find themselves in a position of having selected an apartment and begun the leasing process only to find that the unit is not up to standard or that the landlord is unwilling to work with the PHA.
PHAs are not necessarily the only organizations in a jurisdiction to maintain Section 8 house listings of available, pre-certified units and landlords or owners managing and renting properties that are Section 8 compliant. PHA partnering agencies may also compile Section 8 apartment listings or other housing lists that include this information. Both a senior’s PHA and agency partners can assist in navigating these and other housing resources, such as websites and rental listings. Although working directly with the PHA and/or its partners is not required, it can substantially reduce the amount of time it takes a recipient to find a suitable Section 8 housing unit as well as the amount of paperwork and negotiation involved in the leasing process. Download our comprehensive housing guide for details on the requirements to receive housing assistance.
What is Section 8 excluded housing?
Section 8 housing funding may not, under any circumstances, be used for the following types of housing:
- Public or Indian housing units.
- Residential psychiatric and/or medical facilities.
- Units belonging to or on the property of a public or private penal or medical institution.
- Housing a recipient owns or has other financial interest in.
Other restrictions also apply. Section 8 rental housing lists help recipients easily avoid these and other off-limits housing units.