A Maryland Section 8 housing list is a tool you can use to search for rentals that will take housing choice vouchers. When a public housing agency (PHA) grants you rental assistance, it is your responsibility to find a unit on the open market. Even though there are a number of low income apartments for rent, it can be challenging to find a unit that meets your PHA’s requirements while also being rented out by a landlord willing to work within the Section 8 program.
Using Section 8 listings in MD can help you locate the type of home or apartment that you are looking for. To learn more about finding homes for rent that accept section 8 and discover other important information about using your housing choice voucher, read the sections below.
What is an approved Section 8 housing list in Maryland?
In certain cases, you will receive an official list of low income apartments for rent when a local PHA issues you a voucher. However, there are many forms of Section 8 rental listings in Maryland. For example, depending on how your housing authority runs its program, you may receive any of the following to aid your search for an apartment:
- A webpage on the official PHA website that lists available units.
- Contact information for local landlords who have historically rented to Section 8 participants.
- Links to apartment for rent apps that are approved by the PHA.
- An informational packet with current vacancies in low-income units.
It is important to note that, even if you receive an official Section 8 housing list from a housing authority, the task of finding a place to rent is still entirely up to you. Most PHAs do not have the resources to aid every participant in securing a rental.
If you do not receive any assistance from your PHA, you can find Section 8 approved housing for rent using several other tools. First, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) provides a statewide searching tool for finding affordable housing. On this website, it is easy to search for a unit by entering the city or county that you wish to live in.
Second, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides its own tool to aid your search for an apartment. Generally, HUD homes for rent listings allow you to search by ZIP code to find rentals in your area. Results may include:
- Single-family homes
- Units in multi-family complexes
- High-rise apartment units
Note that your search results from either of these tools may include properties with specific eligibility criteria. For example, some units may require you to be a senior citizen in order to qualify for housing.
It is also possible for MD Section 8 listings to include units in public housing projects. However, keep in mind that housing choice vouchers allow you to rent any acceptable unit in the open market, not just listings that are located within a project.
Other Ways to Find Section 8 Listings in Maryland
Many PHAs do not have the resources to maintain an approved Section 8 housing list of their own. In such cases, you will need to find a suitable rental entirely on your own. Luckily, you can look for apartments for rent that accept Section 8 in a wide variety of places.
Most apartment-searching websites and apps allow you to search for rentals that accept Section 8 as payment. However, the search results might refer to Section 8 listings as “income-restricted” or use other similar terminology.
In addition, keep in mind that there are search engines made particularly for listing low-income properties. For example, GoSection8 active listings in Maryland tend to only include properties that accept these types of HUD vouchers.
Many landlords do not include in their listings the fact that they are willing to accept housing choice vouchers. Therefore, if you find a unit that you are interested in, it is a good idea to check with the landlord whether he or she participates in the program. Moreover, if you are already in a rental unit, you should consider asking your current landlord about this possibility.
In addition to using apartment for rent apps, you can look for a unit through other methods. For instance, it is often possible to find Maryland Section 8 rental listings in the following places:
- Online classifieds
- Local newspaper ads
- Community bulletin boards
- Signs in the neighborhood
Quality Standards for Section 8 Approved Housing in Maryland
Once you locate Section 8 rental listings that you are interested in, you will need to select a unit that meets your PHA’s requirements. First, the rental must be leased out by a landlord who is willing to accept housing choice vouchers.
Second, the unit needs to be large enough to accommodate your family size. Third, your apartment needs to be rented out at a fair rate compared to the other units in the given area.
Lastly, the PHA will do a health and safety inspection to make sure that the unit is in acceptable condition. Overall, housing agencies will look for issues such as:
- Structural damage
- Pests and rodents
- Inoperable features, such as faucets or outlets
- Safety hazards outside the unit
If you find an apartment on a Section 8 housing list in MD, it will not be a guarantee that the unit will pass the inspection process. As a general rule, the PHA will need to review every unit, regardless of where it was found. Learn more about the requirements a unit must meet by reading our Section 8 guide here.
Tips to Help You Find Low Income Apartments for Rent in Maryland
As you search for Section 8 listings in Maryland, it helps to keep a few things in mind. First, you need to use your voucher within a certain number of days to avoid losing your rental assistance. By law, PHAs are required to give you a minimum of 60 days to use your existing voucher.
Some housing authorities will give you additional time. Other times, you will be allowed to apply for an extension. If your voucher expires before you can use it, you unfortunately may need to go through the entire application process again.
Second, it is important that you look for housing in the correct area. If you currently live within the jurisdiction of the PHA that issued your voucher, you are generally free to move anywhere that you wish.
However, most PHAs require you to move within their service area for at least the first 12 months. With that in mind, as you look at Section 8 rental listings, make sure that you understand if these rules apply to you.