If you need help paying for rent, you may fill out an Ohio Section 8 application with the public housing agency (PHA) in your community. It is possible to apply for Section 8 with more than one PHA at a time if you wish to increase your chances of receiving a housing choice voucher. However, you should be careful to only submit one application per housing authority.
The Section 8 housing application process may vary depending on where you sign up for assistance. Each PHA receives funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but housing agencies are all independent organizations. Learn more about signing up for rental assistance in OH by reading the sections below.
When can I submit a Section 8 application in Ohio?
You may fill out an Ohio HUD application whenever a local PHA is accepting new petitioners. Depending on the current demand for housing in your area, it may be possible to sign up at any time of the year. Moreover, be mindful that certain PHAs may be able to keep their application portal open permanently.
Other housing authorities have such a high demand for vouchers that it is necessary for them to stop taking applications periodically. In such cases, you must wait until your preferred PHA begins accepting new petitioners.
Housing authorities post public notices in newspapers, on radio stations and through other methods when they open their application portal. When you are waiting to sign up, be sure to keep an eye out for such notices.
Remember that you can apply for Section 8 housing through any PHA, not just the organization that serves your community. If you are having trouble signing up for assistance locally, you may consider applying through another housing authority.
What documents do I need to apply for Section 8 in Ohio?
When you submit a HUD housing application in Ohio, the PHA will need to verify your eligibility. Some housing authorities will request documentation with your initial application, while others only need to verify your eligibility when you are selected for a voucher.
At some point during the Section 8 application process, you should be prepared to give the PHA some or all of the following paperwork:
- Birth certificate
- Photo ID
- Social Security card
- Citizenship or immigration paperwork
- Tax returns or bank statements
- Pay stubs or benefit award letters
These items are used to verify your age, identity, income and other eligibility factors. When possible, it is usually better to provide the PHA with certified or original copies of these documents.
Furthermore, your housing authority application will generally need to include documents for each person in your household. The exact paperwork needed for each family member can vary. For example, you may or may not need to provide photo IDs for household members younger than 18 years of age.
Tips for Completing the Ohio Section 8 Housing Application
When you fill out a Section 8 application form in Ohio, it helps to keep a few things in mind. Most importantly, it is important to understand that PHAs receive a high number of applications from eligible families.
However, there are not always enough vouchers to help every family that meets the requirements. This means that even if you are eligible, you are not guaranteed to receive assistance.
Most PHAs utilize waiting lists as a way to help more families. When you sign up for Section 8, you will oftentimes be added to a waiting list instead of receiving assistance right away. The length of time you spend on one of these lists will vary depending on several factors, such as the number of vouchers available.
Because so many families apply for low income housing, PHAs may use certain methods for deciding who can receive a voucher first. For example, new applicants may need to win a lottery-style drawing to be placed onto a waiting list in the first place.
Other times, a housing authority will use something called local preferences to determine waiting list placement. Applicants may qualify for a local preference if they:
- Are seniors.
- Are homeless.
- Have a disability.
- Have been displaced from home.
- Are living in substandard housing.
As you fill out a low income housing application, it is important that you complete all of the information to the best of your ability. Most PHAs require you to answer every question or write “N/A” in boxes that do not apply to your family. Find more tips for completing a Section 8 application by reading our guide here.
Understanding the Ohio Section 8 Application Process
You can usually submit a Section 8 application online, in person or through the mail. However, some PHAs may prefer or even require you to use one method over another.
How to Apply for Section 8 Online in Ohio
Many PHAs with websites allow you to sign up for assistance online. To apply online, you might need to create an account with the PHA first. Once your application is complete, the system may provide you with a confirmation number.
If so, it is important that you save this number for future reference. Note that you should always be able to fill out Section 8 application online free of charge, as PHAs do not require you to pay a fee.
How to Submit the Ohio Section 8 Housing Application in Person
To apply for help in person, locate the PHA office that serves the community. There are many housing authorities throughout the state. Note that some PHAs may require that you schedule an appointment before visiting, but policies may vary.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing by Mail
A PHA may also provide you with a paper application by mail if you call and request one. To apply by mail, simply fill in all of the relevant fields, sign the form and return the application to the correct address.
What happens after I apply for Section 8 in Ohio?
When you sign up for Section 8 in Ohio, you will either receive a denial, added to a waiting list or granted a voucher right away. In the event you are added to a waiting list, it is important that you keep your information up to date.
Changes to your address, family composition or other eligibility factors should be reported to the PHA right away. Once your Section 8 application reaches the top of the list and you are selected for a voucher, you will usually attend an informational meeting and find out how to use your rental assistance.