Florida Section 8 listings are for people who have received a housing choice voucher from a public housing authority (PHA). If you are a voucher-holder, a Section 8 housing list can be a helpful tool for finding an affordable apartment to rent.
Depending on your housing authority’s policies, you may or may not have access to an official list of apartments approved by the PHA. In any case, it is your responsibility to find a place to rent once you are given a voucher.
There are many low income apartments for rent in Florida, and many of them accept vouchers from the Section 8 program. To learn more about finding apartments for rent that accept Section 8 and discover how to use housing lists to aid your search, read the sections below.
What is an approved Section 8 housing list in Florida?
Some PHAs provide official Section 8 listings that you can look through when searching for an apartment. However, not all housing authorities offer this option.
In any case, it is important to understand that housing choice vouchers can be used at any rental unit that meets the program requirements. You are not limited to using a voucher in a public housing project. Instead, you can search on the open market regardless of whether your PHA gives you Section 8 rental listings to consider.
Because each PHA is independently run, the type of Section 8 listings you have access to might vary. If your local housing authority does provide resources on Section 8 approved housing for rent, the list may come in many forms. For example, your PHA might:
- Endorse apartment for rent apps that list low-income properties.
- Direct you to a third-party search engine such as GoSection8.com, which lists properties that take vouchers.
- Provide its own list of approved rentals on its website.
- Issue a packet that includes listings of available properties.
Some housing authorities will endorse a search engine or app for finding apartments, even if the website is run by a third-party. Other times, a PHA will have an official partnership with an apartment list website.
In such cases, you may be directed to use a specific page of the search engine to find apartments in your area. For example, a housing authority may provide its Section 8 housing list through a third-party site or have its own page on the website that you can use to search for housing locally.
If your housing authority does not provide an official list of low income apartments for rent, you may use resources provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) instead. HUD homes for rent listings can be found online using the department’s website.
Other Ways to Find Section 8 Listings in Florida
Not all housing authorities will provide you with information on Section 8 approved housing for rent, which means you may need to use other methods to find an affordable unit. This is because many PHAs are small organizations that do not have the resources to maintain an updated housing list or run a website with information on finding housing.
Because the Section 8 program gives you the freedom to rent any acceptable unit on the open market, you can use any website, app or search engine with rental listings. In some communities, landlords may also advertise low-rent units in the local newspaper or through other means.
Regardless of whether your PHA provides an official list of low income apartments for rent in Florida, you may find it helpful to use certain online resources that are available for free.
Popular housing search engines, such as Zillow, can also be used to find low-income units. However, on mainstream websites, it may be more challenging to find out whether a unit accepts vouchers without contacting the landlord to make sure.
Quality Standards for Section 8 Approved Housing in Florida
When using a Section 8 housing list in Florida, be aware that the unit you choose must pass health and safety standards set by your PHA. If you are using unofficial Section 8 rental listings, there is no guarantee that the units will be able to meet the program requirements.
Regardless of where you found a rental listing, the unit must meet these standards:
- Be able to pass a health and safety inspection by the PHA.
- Have enough bedrooms or space for a family of your size.
- Be rented out by a landlord who is willing to take Section 8.
If your PHA provides official Section 8 listings, the units on the list may already be pre-screened to meet these requirements. Learn more about the health and safety requirements and other rules for the Section 8 program by downloading our guide here.
Tips to Help You Find Low Income Apartments for Rent in Florida
Before you start using a Section 8 housing list in Florida, it is important to understand where you are allowed to use your voucher. You can rent a unit anywhere in the U.S. as long as you currently live in the service area of the PHA that issued your voucher. On the other hand, you must use your voucher within the PHA’s service area for 12 months if you do not already live within the jurisdiction of the PHA that issued your voucher.
Keep in mind that a list of low income apartments for rent can oftentimes be accessed by anyone looking for affordable rent. The market for low-rent housing can be competitive and there may be many applicants interested in the same unit.
When browsing through listings, you can oftentimes streamline your search by selecting your preferences. Most apartment search websites allow you to use filters for things such as:
- The maximum rent you want to pay.
- The number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
- The neighborhood or community you want to live in.
- Amenities offered with the unit.
Furthermore, search engines and apps may or may not include Section 8 listings along with regular properties that do not require you to have a voucher. When searching for homes for rent that accept Section 8, you may need to look closely at the fine print in each listing.