Pennsylvania Section 8 listings can help you find your next home if you have been approved for a housing choice voucher. A Section 8 housing list is a resource that includes a variety of properties that accept vouchers.
The public housing authority (PHA) that issued your voucher may provide you with information on finding a place to rent. If not, there are many different websites, apps and other resources to point you in the right direction. Below, learn more about finding Section 8 approved housing for rent and discover the requirements your unit will need to meet before you can move in.
What is an approved Section 8 housing list in Pennsylvania?
You can find low income apartments for rent through a variety of official sources. Some PHAs will provide you with an approved Section 8 housing list that you can use to find an apartment or home.
In many cases, an approved list will contain units that already meet the PHA’s health and safety standards. However, the unit you choose will still need to pass an inspection. There is no guarantee that a home will meet the requirements just because it is on an official list.
It is important to keep in mind that many housing authorities oversee a variety of public housing projects. As a result, the PHA may or may not give you information on housing projects in the area. As the recipient of a housing choice voucher, you do not need to rent a unit in a project. Instead, you are free to browse Section 8 rental listings to find a unit on the open market.
If a PHA provides you with a list of low-income apartments for rent, the information may take a variety of formats. For example, the housing authority may direct you to use any of the following:
- An official third-party website that lists units for rent
- A tenant webpage with approved rentals
- An informational packet
- Apartment for rent apps that the PHA endorses
Some PHAs do not have the resources to maintain their own list of approved properties. As an alternative, you may use the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help find a suitable home. HUD homes for rent listings include information on single-family homes, apartments and townhomes that accept vouchers.
HUD listings also commonly include units in public housing projects. Remember that you are not limited to using a housing choice voucher in one of these locations.
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and other state government departments also provide resources that you can use to search for affordable rentals. You can find apartments for rent that accept Section 8 using the search engine created by these departments.
Other Ways to Find Section 8 Listings in Pennsylvania
Because your voucher allows you to live in any acceptable unit, you are free to search for Section 8 listings through any source. If your PHA provides you with a list of rentals, this is a good place to start. However, many housing authorities do not maintain a list. In such cases, you are responsible for finding somewhere to rent on your own.
There are many homes for rent that accept Section 8 on the open market. Some of these properties are listed on websites dedicated just to low-income housing opportunities. For example, browsing through GoSection8 active listings may be a good starting place. A variety of other apps and websites are geared towards low-income listings as well.
Mainstream websites oftentimes list income-restricted as well as other affordable properties. If you are having trouble finding apartments through other sources, consider broadening your search to include regular apartment searching websites and apps. Learn more about where you can find Section 8 listings by reading our guide here.
Quality Standards for Section 8 Approved Housing in Pennsylvania
When using Section 8 listings to find a home, remember that the unit you choose must meet certain standards. An apartment is not guaranteed to meet your PHA’s standards, even if you found the unit on a website for Section 8.
First, the unit you choose must be leased out by a landlord who works with the Section 8 program. Many landlords are willing to take vouchers, but not all. You may even be able to use your voucher on your current home if it meets the other requirements.
Second, the apartment must pass a health and safety inspection. The PHA will check to make sure that the unit complies with HUD’s safe housing standards and any local codes that may exist. Finally, the unit needs to have enough bedrooms for your family.
Tips to Help You Find Low Income Apartments for Rent in Pennsylvania
Finding Section 8 approved housing in Pennsylvania can be difficult at times. However, there are several steps you can take, which may make it easier to find a unit that fits your needs. For example, you may try:
- Looking through a wide variety of Section 8 listings as well as other apps, websites and newspaper advertisements.
- Contacting landlords to ask if they would be willing to take a Section 8 voucher.
- Asking your current landlord if he or she would participate in the program.
- Registering for an account with apartment for rent apps so that you can receive notifications about the newest postings.
- Look for apartments outside of your PHA’s service area, provided the housing authority will allow you to use the voucher elsewhere.
It is important to keep in mind that a Section 8 housing list in PA may have a variety of housing types, including units that do not require an applicant to have a voucher. Because these lists are oftentimes available for anyone to use, you may be competing with other Section 8 applicants who want a low-income apartment.
When looking through Section 8 rental listings, it is crucial that you are aware of any deadlines that may apply to your voucher. A Section 8 voucher may expire in as little as 60 days after it is issued. Exact policies may vary from one PHA to the next. Some housing authorities will allow you to apply for an extension that gives you more time to find a rental.