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Learn How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Illinois

If you want to fill out a Section 8 application in Illinois, your first step is to review the application process. This will help you prepare yourself and examine what to expect. For instance, you must make sure that you have all the required documents readily available and that all the information you provide is up to date.

If you are wondering how to apply for Section 8 in IL, be mindful that you must visit a nearby Public Housing Agency (PHA). Many of the waitlists in the state are closed, so it is important that you contact your PHA sooner rather than later. Overall, PHAs are administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), which is overseen by the federal department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Learn more about applying for Section 8 by reading below.

When can I submit a Section 8 application in Illinois?

You may submit a Section 8 housing application in IL as soon as the waitlist opens in your area. Unfortunately, most waitlists in the state are closed. However, you may contact your local PHA for more information on when the waitlist will re-open.

Sometimes, HCV waitlists are open for only a limited amount of time. As a result, it is important to stay vigilant and check for updates from your PHA or the IDHA. If you wish to contact the IDHA, you may:

  • Call the department’s hotline.
  • Sign up for email updates.
  • Visit the official online state portal and check for updates.

Since you may not fill out a Section 8 application online for free, you may only apply in person at your local PHA during regular business hours.

What documents do I need to apply for Section 8 in Illinois?

To fill out a HUD application in Illinois, you must gather relevant documents that will help you fill out the required forms. Then, you must present them to a caseworker at your local PHA so that the paperwork can be verified.

You may be able to complete certain sections of the application without referencing these documents, including questions on the name and date of birth for each household member. However, you will need to provide exact numbers and detailed information for other sections of the application. This is where your personal documents will come in handy.

Since you cannot complete the Section 8 application online, it is particularly important for you to bring these documents to your PHA. The following documents will be helpful:

  • Proof of identity, such as a birth certificate, U.S. passport, driver’s license, state ID, visa, permanent resident card or other documents
  • Proof of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) for each household member
  • Proof of earned income, including recent paychecks or a letter from your employer
  • Proof of unearned income, such as cash on hand or money in a savings account, if applicable
  • Proof of payments from other government assistance programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefits and others, if applicable

To apply for Section 8 housing in Illinois, you may need to provide other documents depending on your circumstances. If you are enrolled in school, for instance, you must include proof of your enrollment. This may come in the form of a school transcript.

Tips for Completing the Illinois Section 8 Housing Application

It is important to understand that you cannot apply for Section 8 online in IL. Consequently, you will have to undergo the application process in a different way. For example, you must set aside time to visit your local PHA.

You may also want to call in advance, because your nearby office may not be accepting new applications. Important questions to ask a caseworker include:

  • Can I make an appointment to apply for housing choice vouchers?
  • What documents do I need to bring to fill out the Section 8 application form in person?
  • Is the waitlist currently closed? If so, when will it re-open?
  • If the waitlist in this area is closed, can I apply for vouchers at another PHA in the state?
  • Which other PHAs are accepting applications at this time?
  • Do certain applicants have a higher priority than others?

If you want to contact your PHA in advance, you must find the right one through a list of state agencies. This list will provide you with all the contact information you need, from phone numbers to office addresses. Keep in mind that Chicago has its own HCV program website.

Before you fill out a low income housing application, you must also learn how waitlists work. When your PHA begins accepting new applications, you will have a certain amount of time to apply. You will then be placed on the waitlist if your request is approved.

Remember that it may take a while for your name to reach the top of the waitlist. For more information on the HCV program and the application process, download our comprehensive guide.

Understanding the Illinois Section 8 Application Process

In this state, you may not submit a HUD housing application online or by mail. Thus, the only acceptable submission method is to visit a PHA in person. Make sure you follow the submission guidelines established by your local agency so that you do not delay the process.

How to Submit the Illinois Section 8 Housing Application in Person

In order to apply for low income housing in person, you may call your local PHA in advance. A caseworker at the office will explain whether you can set up an appointment or walk in at any time during business hours.

While it may seem like a hassle to sign up for Section 8 in person, you may be able to complete the process more quickly. This is because a caseworker may interview you on the same day. In addition, bringing in all the required documents to this initial meeting will accelerate the process.

What happens after I apply for Section 8 in Illinois?

After you submit your housing authority application in IL, you may be contacted again in case your caseworker needs more information. If you do not have the correct documents with you at the time of your interview, you may need to revisit your PHA with the correct forms at a later date.

Once a decision has been made on your submission, you will receive a notification. Based on the decision, you will either be placed on the waitlist or receive information on why your application was denied.

Different ways you can apply

Some PHAs only let you apply for a housing voucher in person. If you want to apply in person, you have to have the right form. You might be able to find the right form at the PHA office, or on the PHA’s website so you can print it. After you have all your documents and fill out your application, you turn in the documents and application form at the PHA office.

You might only be allowed to apply for Section 8 online through your PHA’s online portal. If you can only apply online, you need to make an account on the portal and fill out the online application form.

You might need to upload your supporting documents here, too. After you finish, you can usually come back to the portal to make changes and see your application status.

Some PHAs will let you turn in your application by mail, especially if you are currently living in another city or state. To apply by mail, you have to ask the PHA for an application, or get one on the website if you can.

After you finish your application, you have to mail the form and supporting documents to the address the PHA tells you. Make sure the envelope has the right address to make sure the PHA gets your application.