Learn About Alabama Section 8 Housing Lists
An Alabama Section 8 housing list is a tool that state applicants can use to find affordable housing. Once you are approved for a housing choice voucher, you can browse Section 8 listings to find apartments that will accept your rental assistance payments.
In some cases, a public housing agency (PHA) will give you an approved list of units to consider. Other times, you are responsible for finding your own rental options. Read below to learn more about finding Section 8 approved housing for rent and discover how to search for listings.
What is an approved Section 8 housing list in Alabama?
Finding low income apartments for rent in Alabama can be a challenge. To help you with your search, certain PHAs will provide you with resources on finding a place to rent.
Each PHA is an independent organization, which means that the types of listings you get might vary depending on who issued your voucher. PHAs may provide official resources such as:
- A webpage that lists units that tenants can rent within their local community.
- Links to approved apartment for rent apps and websites that list eligible units.
- An informational packet that contains local listings.
Keep in mind that not all PHAs are able to provide you with a list. Furthermore, most housing authorities do not have the resources to help each client look for a place to live. Even if your PHA gives you a list of low income apartments for rent, it is ultimately your responsibility to contact landlords and choose the unit you want.
If your PHA does not provide you with information on apartments for rent that accept Section 8, you can use other official resources instead. For instance, it is possible to find approved housing through resources provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
To use HUD homes for rent listings, you simply need to ender a city or ZIP code to see local units. Search results may include any of the following:
- Units in multi-family complexes
- Traditional apartment buildings
- Public housing projects
- Single-family homes
When looking for homes for rent that accept Section 8 in Alabama, keep in mind that you are free to rent any reasonable unit. Even though many PHAs oversee public housing projects, your voucher does not require you to necessarily live in a project. Instead, you can rent a unit on the open market. Learn more about where you are allowed to rent a unit by reading our Section 8 guide here.
Other Ways to Find Section 8 Listings in Alabama
Many PHAs do not provide you with an approved Section 8 housing list for Alabama, which means that it is entirely up to you to find a unit to rent. However, be mindful that there are many ways to find Section 8 rental listings that will suit your needs.
A variety of websites and smartphone applications exist for the sole purpose of advertising apartments that will accept low-income tenants. For example, you may find that it is helpful to browse GoSection8 active listings when you begin your apartment search.
Popular real estate websites can be a helpful way to find affordable rentals as well. Essentially, you can find Section 8 listings on any website that advertises homes for rent.
On the other hand, keep in mind that many websites will include a variety of housing options, not just units that comply with HUD regulations and accept Section 8 vouchers as payment. Therefore, you will have to reach each listing carefully. Sometimes, it may help to contact landlords directly and assess whether they are willing to work within the Section 8 program.
Furthermore, it is important to note that not all Section 8 rental listings in Alabama will be posted online. Many landlords will utilize print advertisements instead.
Overall, it is a good idea to broaden your search to include newspapers and other sources as well. Your PHA may also have a partnership with local landlords and advertise available units on their behalf.
Quality Standards for Section 8 Approved Housing in Alabama
When sorting through a Section 8 housing list in AL, it is important to understand the health and safety requirements for rental units. A PHA will need to verify that the unit you choose meets the HUD standards as well as any local zoning codes that may apply.
First and foremost, the unit of your choice must be large enough to accommodate a family of your size. Moreover, the home must be rented out by a landlord who is willing to accept Section 8 vouchers. Finally, the dwelling must be able to pass a safety inspection, which will be performed by your local PHA before you move in. To meet the requirements, the unit must:
- Be properly wired and have adequate lighting and outlets.
- Have floors, walls and ceilings in good condition.
- Not have broken windows, doors, latches or locks.
- Be free from rodent and pest infestations.
- Meet other health and safety requirements as defined by the PHA.
Tips to Help You Find Low Income Apartments for Rent in Alabama
As you search for Section 8 listings in Alabama, it helps to be aware of the requirements of your voucher. In some situations, you may be required to use your voucher in the PHA’s service area for the first 12 months.
This is usually the case if you did not already live in the PHA’s jurisdiction when it issued your rental assistance. Once the first year after your Section 8 application is up, you are free to move anywhere else in the country where there is a PHA.
Furthermore, you have a limited amount of time to look through Section 8 rental listings due to the fact that vouchers may expire. By law, PHAs must give you at least 60 days to find a place where you can use your rental assistance. The rules vary, but some housing authorities will allow you to apply for an extension if you cannot find a rental within this timeframe.
When looking for homes for rent that accept Section 8 in Alabama, keep in mind that the market may be competitive. Some Section 8 listings are not limited to applicants with a housing choice voucher.
As a result, landlords will accept other renters who need to find a low-income apartment. For all of these reasons, it is important that you are ready to act quickly when you find an apartment or home you want to rent.