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Learn About Section 8 Housing in Montana

The Montana Department of Commerce (MDOC) offers very low-income families, individuals with disabilities and the elderly benefits from the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. This program helps beneficiaries to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing of their choosing in the private market. Many families find that the best option for finding low income housing is through the Housing Voucher Program because they can find a place to live on their own and ensure that it meets all of their needs. In order to obtain benefits from the Section 8 program, an application must be submitted. Typically, applicants can expect an 18 month period of time on the Montana wait list. After receiving their vouchers, beneficiaries can use Section 8 housing lists to find suitable housing on the private market. Learn more about Montana’s eligibility requirements for Section 8, how to apply and more important details about the program.

Discover Montana Section 8 Requirements

In order to receive housing voucher benefits, applicants must meet the Section 8 requirements in their area. Hopeful candidates must submit an application to the Montana Department of Commerce in order to have to check if they meet Section 8 eligibility criteria. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age to apply for housing voucher benefits. Additionally, applicants must be U.S. citizens or hold an eligible immigration status. Additionally, Montana has established Section 8 income limits that applicants must meet in order to receive housing vouchers. Generally, benefits from this program were designed to provide housing assistance to anyone who makes less than 30 percent of the average median income in their area. Oftentimes, this includes low-income single parents with children, senior citizens and individuals with disabilities.

Section 8 Income Limits

The biggest factor in determining Section 8 housing eligibility is the total income of the household. Families are required to fall within the income limits of the Montana district where they are applying. In general, any family or individual that has an income that is less than 30 percent of Montana’s median income will be eligible. It is important to keep in mind that the Section 8 income limits change each year. Since housing vouchers are distributed on the basis of needs, a certain percentage of them are reserved for families with very low or extremely low incomes compared to the median in the area. A household that only generates 30 percent or less of the median income in their area can be considered extremely low income in Montana. Families who generate under 50 percent of the median income are considered very low income. Section 8 income limits are determined using a number of difference factors including:
  • Salaries or wages of each household member
  • Public assistance benefits that the household receives
  • Income from other assets
  • Family assets, both real property and liquid assets
  • Other sources of income

How to Apply for Section 8 in Montana

The MDOC only allows residents to submit a single Section 8 application in one of the eleven districts in Montana. Applicants are encouraged to choose their preferred district when applying. They will be required to keep a current mailing address and valid phone number on file with the MDOC during the whole application process, including their time on the waiting list. If the household meets the qualifications to participate in the program, they will be placed on the housing voucher waiting list. Montana provides a few different methods of submitting their Section 8 application. Families can apply for benefits online, or with a paper application submitted in person or by mail. However, applying online is more convenient, time-efficient and secure than applying in person. Learn more about the eligibility requirements to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Household Information

To successfully apply for Section 8, residents must provide information about the members of the household that can be used to determine eligibility. For the first section of the Section 8 housing application, candidates will need to provide information about the head of household members in addition to each individual family member. Some household information that may be required for the MDOC to verify whether or not an applicant is eligible for housing vouchers includes:
  • Number of household members
  • First and last names
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Dates of birth
  • Race and ethnicity of household members
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or eligible immigrant status
  • Status of household members (Older than 62 years of age, disabled, pregnant, handicap or none)

Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in Montana

Eligible applicants will be placed on the Section 8 waiting list until they can receive housing vouchers. On average, the wait time for housing assistance is about 18 months in Montana. However, certain Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) will establish local preferences that give priority to households that qualify. PHAs will establish local preferences to meet the housing needs of their communities. A few of the common qualifications for waiting list priority includes:
  • Elderly household members – This includes households with a member who is 62 years of age or older.
  • Household members living with disabilities – Families who are eligible for this local preference are also eligible for special accommodations in their housing to meet the needs of the individual with disabilities.
  • Retired Service Members – In some areas, applicants with military veterans in the household may receive priority on the Section 8 waiting list.

Learn About Montana Section 8 Housing Lists

After receiving their housing vouchers, participants can use Section 8 housing lists to simplify the search for a rental on the private market. There are a large number of Section 8 properties listed a variety of different housing lists in Montana. Many of these lists focus on listing low income apartments for rent and properties with landlords that accept Section 8, which can make it easier for beneficiaries to find a place to live in their budget.