Using Section 8 listings in Maine can help you find an affordable place to rent once you are granted a housing choice voucher. While certain public housing agencies (PHAs) will aid your search by providing you with an official list of units to choose from, others leave the search entirely up to you. Regardless of whether or not you receive a Section 8 housing list, you are free to choose any acceptable rental in the open market.
There are a variety of low income apartments for rent in ME, but not all units will meet your PHA’s requirements. After selecting a place to rent, your chosen unit will need to be inspected before you can move in. Learn more about finding homes for rent that accept Section 8 and discover what standards your rental unit needs to meet by reading the sections below.
What is an approved Section 8 housing list in Maine?
After you are granted an HUD voucher, your local PHA may provide you with information on Section 8 approved housing for rent in Maine. Generally, PHAs that have websites might list available rentals on a page for tenants. Other times, you might receive an informational packet with current vacancies in approved properties.
Instead of a list of low income apartments for rent, your PHA may also direct you to other resources you can seek out on your own. These may include:
- Approved apartment for rent apps or websites.
- Resources from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
- A list of landlords who regularly lease to Section 8 participants.
HUD homes for rent listings are a good place to start if you do not receive listings from your PHA. You can use HUD listings to look for a wide variety of housing types, such as:
- High-rise apartment units
- Regular apartments
- Units in senior living centers
- Single-family homes
Note that, in addition to Maine Section 8 rental listings, you may come across units that are located in public housing projects. Because these HUD vouchers are a form of tenant-based assistance, it means that you are free to choose any acceptable rental unit on the market.
Housing authorities typically manage public housing projects. However, be mindful that you are not required to use your rental assistance in a housing project. The only Section 8 beneficiaries who are required to live in such units are those who have received a project-based voucher rather than tenant-based assistance.
Other Ways to Find Section 8 Listings in Maine
Finding apartments for rent that accept Section 8 in Maine can be a challenge because not all landlords are willing to participate in the program. Furthermore, some units will not meet PHA requirements. However, there are a variety of ways to search for acceptable housing even if you do not receive an official list of available units from your PHA.
You can search for Section 8 listings using the same tools and methods you would to find any other type of rental. For example, it is possible to find Section 8 approved housing through regular apartment searching websites.
Keep in mind that not all landlords will use the same language to describe their units. It helps to look for other terminology, such as “income-restricted” when searching for a unit that may accept your voucher.
Some websites are created just for low-income property listings. For example, GoSection8 active listings can be a helpful tool for finding the type of unit you are looking for. When using such websites, it is still important to check that a landlord will take Section 8, as there may be other units listed on these sites as well.
It is always a good idea to look for Section 8 rental listings through a variety of places. You may find potential listings by searching for:
- Ads in local newspapers and other publications.
- Bulletin boards around the community.
- Apartment for-rent signs in the neighborhood you want to live in.
- Online classifieds for your city.
Not all property owners will advertise the fact that they participate in this program. When in doubt, you can always ask a landlord whether he or she will accept Section 8 vouchers. It is even possible that your current landlord will be willing to work with the program. Learn more about finding an acceptable place to use your voucher by reading our Section 8 guide here.
Quality Standards for Section 8 Approved Housing in Maine
Once you have found a unit that you want to rent, it will need to pass an inspection. Even if you located a rental using an approved Section 8 housing list, your PHA will still need to look it over before you can move in.
Housing authorities use HUD’s health and safety standards to verify that a unit is acceptable. Issues such as structural damage, inoperable lighting, inadequate plumbing or pest infestations can all cause a unit to fail an inspection.
Note that if you choose to use a voucher in your current home, the PHA will still need to perform an inspection. In any case, Section 8 rental listings also need to be large enough for your family and be leased at a fair rate in order for them to pass inspection.
Tips to Help You Find Low Income Apartments for Rent in Maine
When browsing through Section 8 listings in Maine, it is important that you are aware of your voucher’s expiration date. PHAs are required to give you at least 60 days to use your voucher before it expires.
Some housing authorities give you more time or will allow you to apply for an extension. Unfortunately, if you are unable to find any Section 8 approved housing within the deadline, you can lose your voucher.
Because it is sometimes a challenge to find acceptable Section 8 listings, it is important that you are prepared. Having all of your application materials on hand will help you apply for a lease more quickly once you find a unit that you want to live in.
Keep in mind that some apartments for rent that accept Section 8 are not limited to people who have a voucher. Therefore, you may be competing with a wider range of other applicants.