Learn How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Georgia
A Georgia Section 8 application must be submitted in order to receive rental assistance from the Housing Choice Voucher Program. This program is federally funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) but is administered at the local level by public housing agencies (PHAs). Therefore, you must apply for Section 8 by contacting one of these local organizations.
The Section 8 housing application process can vary depending on where you live. For example, some PHAs will allow you to apply online, while others will require you to use alternative methods. Learn more about this housing application process and discover how you can get rental assistance by reading the sections below.
When can I submit a Section 8 application in Georgia?
A Georgia HUD application may need to be submitted during a specific window of time depending on where you apply. This is because the demand for housing vouchers can be extremely high in certain areas. When a PHA is unable to assist every applicant, it may stop accepting applications for a period of time.
In areas with a lower demand for vouchers, you might be able to apply for Section 8 housing whenever you choose to do so. However, this is less common. In any case, different PHAs will announce when they open or close their application periods.
When you sign up for Section 8 in Georgia, it is helpful to understand that some PHAs run their own housing choice program, while others do not. Additionally, certain PHAs rely on the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to administer their local Section 8 programs.
If this is the case, you will need to follow the DCA procedures. Note that the DCA, like many other PHAs, periodically stops accepting applications when there are too many people waiting to receive vouchers already.
What documents do I need to apply for Section 8 in Georgia?
When you submit a housing authority application, you must provide basic information regarding yourself and each member of your household who wants to receive rental assistance from this program. Your Section 8 application form will require information on your identity, income, family status, income, employment and any special circumstances that relate to your household. Various documentation can be used to verify these details, such as:
- Birth certificates
- Photo IDs
- Tax returns
- Employment records or pay stubs
- Bank statements
If you do not have the required documentation, a PHA may still be able to verify your information by contacting employers, banks and other organizations directly. Learn more about the types of information and documents you may need to provide by reading our comprehensive guide here.
Your Section 8 application should be as accurate and complete as possible. Intentionally omitting details or providing false information may result in serious penalties.
Tips for Completing the Georgia Section 8 Housing Application
Before you apply for Section 8 housing in Georgia, it helps to understand which factors might affect your ability to get a voucher. If you meet the eligibility criteria, it does not necessarily mean that you will be granted assistance.
Most PHAs utilize waiting lists when they do not have enough vouchers for every applicant. If a PHA uses a wait list, your initial Section 8 application form will usually only get you placed on this list. Then, the length of the wait will vary depending on the current demand for vouchers and various other factors.
Another thing that may affect your low income housing application is local preferences. A local preference is something that a PHA may use to determine which applicants need help more quickly.
Preferences can determine where you get placed on the waiting list and whether you are qualified to receive help more quickly. These criteria vary from one PHA to the next, but you may qualify for help more quickly if you:
- Are a veteran.
- Are elderly.
- Live or work in the PHA’s service area.
- Live in substandard housing or are homeless.
- Pay more than 50 percent of your income on rent.
- Are involuntarily displaced from home.
In many cases, your Section 8 application will be more successful if you live or work in the area covered by the PHA you apply with. You have the right to apply for help through any PHA.
However, most organizations prioritize helping local applicants first. It can be more difficult to get approved if you do not already live and/or work in the community served by the PHA in question.
Understanding the Georgia Section 8 Application Process
Most PHAs allow you apply for rental assistance using several different methods. However, the exact steps and methods will vary depending on where you apply.
How to Apply for Section 8 Online in Georgia
If your PHA has its own website, it may provide an online application portal. If so, simply fill out the Section 8 application online using the on-screen instructions.
You should be able to fill out Section 8 application online free of charge. This is because PHAs do not charge a fee to apply. Websites that charge a fee may be fraudulent and should be reported.
How to Submit the Georgia Section 8 Housing Application in Person
Some PHAs allow you to submit a HUD housing application in person. Before visiting the PHA office, check to make sure that the organization is currently accepting applications. You cannot submit a form if the waiting list is closed.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing by Mail
PHAs may also allow you to pick up a paper application or print the form from their website. This form can be filled out and retuned by mail in many cases. As always, check to make sure the PHA is currently accepting applications before you mail in your form.
What happens after I apply for Section 8 in Georgia?
After you apply for low income housing, you will usually be placed on a waiting list unless you do not pass the initial screening criteria. In such cases, your application may be denied right away. You should receive a notification along with instructions for requesting an appeal, if desired.
Remember, the criteria may vary from one PHA to the next. If your Section 8 housing application is denied, you might be able to get approved through a different organization.
In rare cases, you will receive approval right away. This usually only happens if you apply in an area with a lower demand for housing and the PHA has vouchers available immediately.