You can apply for Section 8 in North Carolina through any public housing agency (PHA) in the state. These organizations are responsible for accepting applications and distributing vouchers. At the federal level, this program receives funding and oversight from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Each PHA has its own Section 8 application process, which may require you to follow certain additional steps. It is important to note that there is no standard NC Section 8 housing application form to fill out due to the fact that each agency runs its own program. However, the steps and requirements are very similar no matter where you sign up. Learn more about the application process by reading the sections below.
When can I submit a Section 8 application in North Carolina?
You can sign up for Section 8 whenever a PHA has its wait list open. Some PHAs will accept applications year-round, while others periodically open and close their waiting lists. The current demand for housing in your area will usually affect whether or not the PHA is actively accepting applications.
Unfortunately, you cannot always apply for Section 8 housing as soon as you need it. In areas with a higher demand for vouchers, it is common for PHAs to close their waiting lists for months or even years at a time.
Housing authorities will publicly announce when the application period opens and closes. Commonly, you will find these announcements on PHA websites, in local newspapers and on local radio advertisements, among other places.
In the event you cannot submit a HUD application to your local PHA, you may find that it is possible to apply through a different organization in your area. However, some housing authorities give preference to local applicants. This may affect whether or not you get a voucher.
What documents do I need to apply for Section 8 in North Carolina?
Your low income housing application in North Carolina will need to include a variety of documentation. The PHA uses your documents to verify whether you are eligible for the program. In the event you cannot provide the necessary paperwork, PHAs may also contact employers, banks and other organizations directly.
The documents you need with your HUD housing application may vary depending on your situation. In most cases, you should be prepared to give the PHA any of the following:
- Photo identification
- Birth certificate
- Social Security card or other proof of Social Security Number (SSN)
- Proof of income from a job, worker’s compensation, unemployment compensation or government programs
- Bank statements and other proof of your assets
If there is more than one person in your household, you will need to provide documents for each household member. However, certain paperwork may not be required, such as a photo ID for applicants who are younger than 18 years of age.
In any case, your PHA will provide a list of the exact documents you need. You can also learn more about the paperwork and information you need to provide with your housing authority application by downloading our step-by-step guide.
Tips for Completing the North Carolina Section 8 Housing Application
Before you fill out a Section 8 application form, it helps to understand how PHAs select applicants. The demand for vouchers is extremely high in some areas. As a result, some PHAs need to use certain methods for selecting candidates with the greatest needs.
To do this, a housing authority may use something called local preferences. A local preference may be given to certain applicants, such as:
- Homeless individuals
- Residents living in substandard housing
- Applicants who were involuntarily displaced from home
- Individuals living or working in the PHA’s service area
When you apply for low income housing in North Carolina, it is also important to understand how waiting lists work. Most housing authorities will place you on a waiting list after you submit your initial application. If you qualify for a local preference, you might get placed higher on the waiting list or receive a voucher more quickly.
If you have been on the waiting list for a long time, it is possible that your eligibility will change before your name is selected from the list. As a result, you may or may not need to undergo another eligibility screening or submit a more detailed Section 8 housing application before you can get a voucher.
In some cases, a PHA will keep your name on the waiting list until it is able to assist you. Other times, you will need to submit a new Section 8 application each time the PHA reopens its waiting list. Unfortunately, there is usually no guarantee that you will receive a voucher if you are placed on the waiting list.
Understanding the North Carolina Section 8 Application Process
You can typically submit a North Carolina Section 8 application online, in person or through the mail. The application methods and steps will vary from one PHA to the next.
How to Apply for Section 8 Online in North Carolina
If the local PHA of your choice has its own online portal, it will generally allow you to file an application online. In fact, some PHAs only accept online applications when their waitlist is open.
If that is the case, you will be able to fill out a Section 8 application online free of charge. Overall, PHAs do not charge you a fee in order to apply.
How to Submit the North Carolina Section 8 Housing Application in Person
Many PHAs will allow you to submit a Section 8 application by visiting the office in person. However, keep in mind that housing authorities will not accept applications if the waiting list is currently closed.
In any case, it is a good idea to confirm the office hours and application policies of your local PHA before showing up to submit your form.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing by Mail
PHAs may also allow you to sign up for Section 8 by filling out a paper application and sending it in the mail. You may be able to find a printable application form on your PHA’s website. If not, call or visit the organization to receive a copy of the form.
What happens after I apply for Section 8 in North Carolina?
Once your Section 8 application is received, you will likely be placed on a waiting list unless the PHA is able to help you right away. However, if you do not meet the initial eligibility requirements, the PHA may deny your application. In such cases, you should receive information on appealing the decision.
Upon approval of your Section 8 housing application, the PHA will provide you with information on what to do next. This may include attending an informational meeting and selecting a unit to rent.