You can apply for Section 8 in Louisiana through a public housing agency (PHA) that serves the community you want to live in. At the federal level, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides funding for PHAs. If you wish, you may undergo the Section 8 application steps through more than one agency. However, because PHAs are independent from one another, you would need to submit a separate Section 8 housing application for each agency.
Before trying to sign up for Section 8 in Louisiana, it helps to understand how the application process works. Policies and procedures can vary from one PHA to the next, but there are several important things to be aware of no matter where you apply. Read the sections below to learn more about the Section 8 application process and find out how to sign up.
When can I submit a Section 8 application in Louisiana?
In many cases, you cannot apply for low income housing in Louisiana if a local PHA’s waitlist is closed. Unfortunately, the demand for housing vouchers is so high in certain areas that housing agencies will stop taking applications periodically. Depending on the availability of vouchers and the demand for assistance, the wait can last weeks, months or years.
If your local PHA stops processing low income housing applications during a period of time, it will post a notification whenever it starts accepting new applicants again. Overall, housing authorities may make announcements online, in newspapers or over the radio.
In many cases, you only have a limited amount of time to apply for Section 8 housing when a PHA reopens its application period. Most housing authorities receive a high volume of applications during each sign-up period, which means that the application window is typically small.
Some areas of the state have a lower demand for housing vouchers than others. As a result, you may find that there are more frequent opportunities to apply for Section 8 in certain places.
Remember that you can submit a Section 8 application to any PHA of your choosing, not just a local organization. However, you have a higher chance of being approved for a voucher when you apply through a local PHA. Learn more about when and how you can apply for assistance by reading our Section 8 guide here.
What documents do I need to apply for Section 8 in Louisiana?
When you submit a HUD application in Louisiana, you should be prepared to give the PHA documentation that verifies your eligibility. Depending on the particular agency’s policies, you may need to include paperwork with your initial application. Other times, you will only need to show proof of your eligibility at the stage when you are granted a housing voucher.
Various paperwork can be used to verify your eligibility. Your housing authority application will usually include documents that prove the following factors:
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- Benefits from other government programs
- Assets, such as bank accounts
- Special circumstances, such as a disability
In order to verify these details, you may use paperwork such as bank records, photo IDs, birth certificates, tax returns and Social Security cards. As such, be prepared to show documentation for each person in your household. Whenever possible, your paperwork should be original or certified copies.
Tips for Completing the Louisiana Section 8 Housing Application
There are a few important things to keep in mind when you fill out a Section 8 application form in Louisiana. First, you should only complete one application per household, per PHA. If you submit more than one application for your family through the same agency, it will reject your form.
Second, it is important to include accurate and honest information on your form. If a HUD housing application is found to have false information, the PHA will reject it and may restrict your ability to reapply in the future.
Third, it helps to understand that most PHAs utilize waiting lists when there are not enough vouchers available for every applicant. This means that your initial Section 8 application will usually only result in you being placed on a waiting list. Then, the amount of time you spend on a waiting list will vary depending on the availability of vouchers and your position on the list.
Overall, local PHAs use a variety of methods to determine your waiting list placement. In certain cases, everyone who submits a low income housing application will be entered into a random lottery drawing to be placed on the list. Other times, PHAs will use local preferences to determine where applicants are positioned. You may qualify for a local preference if you:
- Are a senior.
- Have a disability.
- Are a veteran.
- Are a victim of domestic abuse.
- Have been living in substandard housing.
It is important to note that the exact preferences will vary from one PHA to the next. However, be mindful that nearly all housing agencies will prioritize applicants who live or work within their local community.
Understanding the Louisiana Section 8 Application Process
You can generally submit a Section 8 application online, in person or by mail. However, the methods and steps for signing up will vary depending on the PHA you choose.
Note that certain agencies will require you to use only one method rather than offering a variety. Regardless of the method of your choice, keep in mind that applications will only be available during periods when a local PHA is actively accepting new petitioners.
How to Apply for Section 8 Online in Louisiana
Most PHAs that have websites set up will have an online application portal as well. If so, you can fill out Section 8 application online free of charge.
How to Submit the Louisiana Section 8 Housing Application in Person
In order to apply for assistance in person, start by locating the office of your desired PHA. Overall, office hours and policies will vary. As such, it is beneficial to contact the housing agency in question ahead of time, allowing you to learn about any additional application requirements.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing by Mail
Certain local PHAs provide paper application forms that you can pick up and return by mail. These forms may be available at the office or on a PHA’s website.
What happens after I apply for Section 8 in Louisiana?
Once you sign up for Section 8 in Louisiana, you will receive a response about the status of your application. If you pass the initial eligibility check, you will likely be placed on a waiting list, unless the PHA is able to give you a voucher right away.
Once you receive a voucher, you must find a suitable place to rent. If you are experiencing difficulty finding an HUD-approved rental unit, you may utilize a housing list to browse through different available homes.