Finding Minnesota Section 8 listings is one of the first steps you will take after receiving a housing choice voucher (HCV). You may receive a Section 8 housing list from the public housing agency (PHA) that issued your voucher. However, many PHAs do not have the resources to maintain an up-to-date list of available units. Therefore, it is oftentimes necessary to search for housing on your own.
There are many low income apartments for rent in MN. However, it can sometimes be challenging to find a unit that will accept your rental assistance. Read below to learn more about finding a suitable place to rent and discover what requirements a unit must meet before you are allowed to move in.
What is an approved Section 8 housing list in Minnesota?
You are usually responsible for finding Section 8 rental listings on your own after you are granted a voucher. However, the PHA may provide you with resources to aid your search.
The types of help you receive will vary from one housing authority to the next. PHAs may provide you with any of the following:
- A web page that lists available units.
- An informational packet with a list of rentals.
- A list of landlords who have rented to Section 8 participants in the past.
- Links to approved apartment for rent apps or websites that you can use to search for housing.
If your PHA gives you information on Section 8 approved housing for rent, note that these listings might also include units that are owned by the housing authority itself. You may be eligible to use your rental assistance in a PHA-owned unit.
In any case, be mindful that you are not limited to renting from your housing authority. Instead, you are free to rent any acceptable unit on the open market.
Because most PHAs are small organizations, they may not have the resources to maintain their own list of housing options. If you do not receive a list of low income apartments for rent from your housing authority, you may wish to use resources from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) instead.
HUD homes for rent listings allow you to find a wide range of units that may accept Section 8 vouchers. You can use these HUD resources to find single-family homes, apartments, townhomes and other types of housing.
Keep in mind that these listings oftentimes include units in public housing projects. As the recipient of a Section 8 voucher, you are not able to use your rental assistance in a unit that is already subsidized by the government.
Other Ways to Find Section 8 Listings in Minnesota
There are many ways to find apartments for rent that accept Section 8 even if you do not receive housing information from your PHA. The process of locating Section 8 listings in Minnesota is similar to searching for any other type of rental housing.
Mainstream apartment for rent apps oftentimes include listings that will accept Section 8. When using these search engines, it helps to look for certain phrases that may indicate a landlord is willing to take vouchers. For example, some listings may be described as income-restricted units, or may use phrases such as “HCV welcome.”
If you cannot find Section 8 rental listings through other websites, there are also search engines made just for low-income properties. For example, using GoSection8 active listings is oftentimes an easy way to find units that will accept a voucher.
It is always a good idea to look for a rental in a variety of places. This is because some landlords will not advertise their units using every available method. For example, you may consider looking for advertisements in the following places:
- Local newspapers or other publications
- Online classifieds for your city
- Bulletin boards around the community, such as at grocery stores or libraries
- For-rent signs in the neighborhood
Quality Standards for Section 8 Approved Housing in Minnesota
When locating homes for rent that accept Section 8 in MN, it helps to keep a few rules in mind. Most importantly, the unit you choose will need to pass a PHA inspection before you can lease it.
The housing authority will check the home or apartment to make sure that it is free from major damage and issues that make it unsafe or create unsanitary living conditions. Even if you found a home on an official Section 8 housing list, the unit will still need to pass an inspection.
The home you rent also needs to be leased out at a fair rate compared to other units in the area. Additionally, the rental needs to be leased by a landlord who is willing to participate in the Section 8 program. Not low income apartments for rent will be eligible for this program. Learn more about finding an acceptable unit by reading our Section 8 guide here.
Note: You may be able to use your rental assistance where you currently live. To do so, your landlord needs to be wiling to take Section 8 vouchers. Your home will also need to pass an inspection and be rented at a fair rate.
Tips to Help You Find Low Income Apartments for Rent in Minnesota
When you begin looking at Section 8 rental listings in Minnesota, it is important that you know where you are allowed to rent a unit. If you currently live in the jurisdiction of the PHA that issued your voucher, you are usually free to move anywhere you want.
However, if you do not already live in the service area of the PHA that granted your assistance, you generally must move to that area for the first year that you use your voucher. This can limit the scope of your search, so it is important to understand these requirements before you begin looking.
Another important rule relates to the term of your voucher. Local PHAs are required to give you a minimum of 60 days to use your voucher before it expires, but some organizations may give you more time.
It is important to note that you may or may not be eligible to apply for an extension. If you are unable to use your voucher before its expiration date, you will lose your rental assistance.