Learn How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Mississippi
A Mississippi Section 8 application form can be filled out with any public housing agency (PHA) in the state. At the federal level, PHAs receive federal funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). However, housing agencies may administer their programs differently, which means that the Section 8 application process can be different depending on where you sign up.
Upon submitting a Section 8 housing application in MS, a local PHA will determine whether you are eligible to be placed on a waiting list. After you enter one of these waitlists, you may need to fill out a more in-depth HUD application form in order to be selected for a voucher. Learn how to apply for Section 8 and discover more information about waiting lists in the sections below.
When can I submit a Section 8 application in Mississippi?
Most housing authorities use waiting lists when there are not enough vouchers for every applicant. You can sign up for Section 8 whenever a PHA has its waiting list open.
Because the demand for housing choice vouchers is so high in many areas, it is common for housing authorities to close their waiting lists for long periods of time. When a PHA reopens its waiting list, it will make a public announcement through a variety of methods. As such, you may find these notices:
- In local newspapers
- Through advertisements on the radio
It is usually in your best interest to apply for low income housing as soon as your preferred PHA opens its waitlist. Most housing authorities do not keep their list open for long before it closes again. You risk missing the application window if you do not sign up right away.
In the event you cannot apply for Section 8 housing with your preferred PHA, keep in mind that you can sign up for assistance from any housing authority. Moreover, you are not required to be a local resident in order to get placed on a waiting list.
With that in mind, PHAs oftentimes have policies that require them to help local applicants first. This means that you might receive assistance more quickly or be placed higher on the waiting list if you live, work or go to school in the PHA’s service area.
Note: In areas with lower demand for vouchers, you may be able to submit a housing authority application at any time. Some PHAs accept applications year-round or keep their waiting lists open indefinitely.
What documents do I need to apply for Section 8 in Mississippi?
After you fill out a Section 8 application form in Mississippi, you must verify your eligibility for the program. Depending on the PHA’s policies, you may need to provide documentation with your initial application before you can be added to the waiting list. Other times, a housing agency will only request verification when your name is selected for a voucher.
In order to verify your eligibility, you can show a variety of documents. Your HUD housing application may need to include any of the following items:
- Social Security card or other proof of Social Security Number (SSN).
- Photo identification, birth certificate or other proof of identity.
- Pay stubs, bank statements and other evidence of income.
- Benefit award letters if you participate in other government programs.
- Proof of citizenship or legal presence in the U.S., such as immigration documents.
A Mississippi Section 8 application will need to include documents for everyone in your family, not just the head of the household. Therefore, you may not be able to get assistance if you are unable to prove the eligibility of anyone on your application. Learn more about the types of information and documents you may need by reading our Section 8 guide here.
Tips for Completing the Mississippi Section 8 Housing Application
A low income housing application typically needs to be filled out completely. As such, most PHAs will require you to complete every field. If a question does not apply to your family, it is generally better to write “N/A” rather than leaving the answer blank.
It is also important to only submit one Section 8 housing application per PHA. If a housing authority receives more than one application from the same family, it may reject the forms altogether.
As a general rule, you are allowed to sign up for Section 8 with more than one PHA at a time. However, you should only submit one form per agency.
Once you complete a Mississippi Section 8 application, keep in mind that you will more than likely be placed onto a waiting list. If so, it helps to understand how PHAs select applicants from the list. In many cases, a housing agency will give preference to applicants who:
- Are seniors.
- Have a disability.
- Are displaced from home.
- Have been living in substandard housing.
- Are homeless.
- Are veterans.
Qualifying for a local preference might mean that you are placed higher on the list or that you will be chosen for a voucher more quickly. However, it does not necessarily guarantee that you will receive these vouchers.
Understanding the Mississippi Section 8 Application Process
Applications for this program are typically accepted online, in person or through the mail. Certain PHAs will require you to use just one method, while others will allow you to choose your preferred type of application.
How to Apply for Section 8 Online in Mississippi
You can often submit a Section 8 application online if your PHA has a website. Signing up for assistance online may require that you create an account. After completing an application, you will usually receive a confirmation number, which you should save for your records.
How to Submit the Mississippi Section 8 Housing Application in Person
Many PHAs accept in-person applications instead. Simply locate the housing authority that serves your community to learn about its application procedures. Some PHAs may require that you schedule an appointment before showing up.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing by Mail
To apply by mail, contact your PHA for a paper copy of the application form. Simply fill out the required fields, sign your form and return it to the correct office by mail or fax.
What happens after I apply for Section 8 in Mississippi?
If your low income housing application results in you being added to a waiting list, it is important that you keep your information up to date. Changes to your address or other contact information should be reported right away.
Once you are selected for a voucher, you will usually need to attend an informational briefing, during which you will learn how to use your rental assistance. You may then start looking for a home or apartment to rent.