A Section 8 application in Maine can be submitted to any public housing agency (PHA) of your choosing. While the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides federal oversight and funding for this program, local PHAs are responsible for taking applications and distributing vouchers. Many PHAs in the state have partnered with one another to create a single online application portal.
On the other hand, housing agencies have the right to maintain their own Section 8 application process, if necessary. Therefore, you can submit a Section 8 application form through several different PHAs, if you wish. Read below to learn how to apply for Section 8 in ME and discover important information about waiting lists and how applicants are selected.
When can I submit a Section 8 application in Maine?
You can only sign up for Section 8 in Maine whenever a local PHA has spots available on its waiting list. Because there are typically more applicants than vouchers available, it is common for housing agencies to close their waiting lists periodically. In such cases, you must wait until the list reopens.
Anytime your preferred PHA has its application window closed, remember that you can still apply for low income housing through a different agency instead. As a general rule, local PHAs will announce whenever they begin accepting new applicants once again.
If you apply through a PHA that uses the statewide application system, keep in mind that this portal may also close from time to time. However, this waiting list is designed to remain open indefinitely. As such, you can generally apply for Section 8 whenever you choose.
What documents do I need to apply for Section 8 in Maine?
In many cases, you can submit your initial Maine Section 8 application form without providing any documentation. This is because your initial application generally only gets you placed onto a waiting list.
Once your name is selected for a voucher, you will need to undergo a full eligibility screening. At this stage in the HUD application process, you should be prepared to give the PHA any required documentation.
The types of paperwork you need with your low income housing application will vary depending on your individual situation. Generally, you will need evidence of your identity, Social Security Number (SSN), income and assets. Consequently, the following documents may be used to satisfy these requirements:
- Birth certificate
- Social Security card
- Tax returns
- Citizenship or other immigration documents
- Bank statements or other proof of assets
- Employment verification and/or pay stubs
- Benefit award letters from other government programs
When gathering documents for your Section 8 application in ME, keep in mind that you need to have paperwork for each person in your household who is seeking rental assistance. Furthermore, your documents should always be original or certified copies. Learn more about the types of information you need to provide on a HUD housing application by reading our helpful guide here.
Tips for Completing the Maine Section 8 Housing Application
When completing a Section 8 housing application in Maine, it is important to understand how the waiting list works. Because most PHAs in ME use one statewide waitlist, the policies are the same no matter where you apply.
After you submit a housing authority application and get added to the statewide waiting list, your information will be accessible to any PHA that uses the list. Consequently, housing agencies may select any applicant that they wish to prioritize.
Most PHAs have certain criteria for selecting applicants for a voucher. For example, a housing authority may speed up the process for applicants who:
- Live or work in the local area.
- Are seniors.
- Have a disability.
- Are veterans.
- Have children.
- Have an extremely low income.
It is important to remember that, once you submit an application to a housing agency, your information will be available to any other PHA that also uses the statewide waitlist in Maine. In other words, you only need to apply for Section 8 housing once if your preferred PHA uses this central list. Alternatively, you only need to fill out an additional HUD application if you want to sign up through a housing authority that does not participate in that system.
Understanding the Maine Section 8 Application Process
All PHAs that participate in the statewide application system have the same steps and processes. While the information below applies to these PHAs in particular, keep in mind that the steps are very similar even if you choose to sign up through an independent housing agency in Maine.
How to Apply for Section 8 Online in Maine
You can fill out a Section 8 application online free of charge using the state’s centralized system. During this process, you will be required to create an online account. Then, you will be able to the application page and follow the on-screen prompts to have your name added to the list.
How to Submit the Maine Section 8 Housing Application in Person
You can download and print a copy of the Maine Section 8 application form, which must be filled out and submitted to any participating PHA in person. Alternatively, you may visit your preferred housing agency in person to pick up a paper form.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing by Mail
If you prefer to apply by mail, contact your preferred PHA to have the application form sent to you. Simply fill out the form and return it to the correct address by mail.
What happens after I apply for Section 8 in Maine?
Once you apply for Section 8 in Maine, your name will be added to a waiting list. However, in rare situations, a PHA may be able to provide you with assistance immediately.
The most important thing you need to do while you are on a waiting list is keep your information up to date. Changes to your address or other contact information should be reported right away so you can receive notifications.
Once your name is selected from a waiting list, a PHA will contact you to complete a more detailed application. At this stage in the process, you will undergo a full eligibility screening. Upon passing, you will be granted a voucher. You may then start looking for rental housing in the open market.