How to Get on a Section 8 Waiting List
Getting Section 8 housing isn't as hard as you may think. The first step is to let the housing authority you want to be considered. Since demand greatly exceeds supply, few vouchers may be available. This means you will be put on a waiting list. However, there are certain tips that can help you get your application to the front of the line.
Register Your Email Account
The first step you will need to take is easy enough. This will be to register for an email account. This is a requirement for filing your application. You can create a free one to use for this purpose. Gmail, Yahoo, and Proton are excellent choices.
Sign Up to Get Alerts
Your next step should be to sign up for a service that will send you an alert when local housing authorities open up waitlists. You can go to a place such as Affordable Housing Online for this purpose. The site allows you to take notice right away when a new waitlist is opened up.
Affordable Housing Online also has a webpage that allows you to sign up for special email alerts from the state you’re interested in. This can be the state you are currently living in or one that you are interested in moving to. A number of housing authorities will also have their own alert systems for you to access.
Some people may have only one neighborhood that they are interested in living in. If this is the case, you can search the web to find the housing authority that oversees your preferred neighborhood. Once at the site, you can sign up directly to be informed of developments in that area.
Apply to As Many Waiting Lists as Possible
Even if you only want to live in one neighborhood, there may be multiple lists that you can sign to. You may also wish to consider other areas that you wouldn't mind living in. If you have a few in mind, you can go to the websites that oversee the areas in question. The more waiting lists you can get on, the sooner you can realize your goal.
The key to success in this matter is to visualize just how long as you can picture yourself living in a certain neighborhood. Your first preference should be the one that you can see yourself staying in for a period of at least 12 months. After a year has elapsed, you can look into moving while still retaining your Section 8 voucher.
Use a Reliable Mailing Address
The mailing address that you provide on all of your applications needs to be one that you can rely on. If you don't stay in a particular place, you can use the address of a relative or longtime friend.
In some cases, you may also be able to ask a local church or shelter if they will allow you to use their mailing address. If you get the green light, you can then check with them every few days. This will be the best way to get informed if you have received any sort of update from the housing authority.
A Doctor's Note Can Speed Things Up
One of the most reliable ways to speed up your wait may be to have a doctor's note. This only applies if you or someone in your household has a serious health issue or permanent disability. The wait can be made even shorter if this disability is getting worse because of the place you are currently living in.
If this is your situation, your best bet will to be request that a doctor write a note to the housing authority. The contents of this message should include a detailed explanation concerning how new housing will help your condition. This note should be forwarded immediately to the authority. You should also keep a copy.
Never Pay Money to Get on the List
One thing that you will never need to do is pay any kind of fee to get on the list. You should also never pay money to get moved further up the list. As it happens, both of these scenarios are completely illegal.
There is no reliable method for anyone to pay money to get moved up the list. Anyone that tells you differently is a scammer whose activity needs to be reported to the authorities.