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Learn How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Pennsylvania

Are you ready to fill out a Pennsylvania Section 8 application? If so, you may save yourself time by reading through the application process. Depending on your county, you must also select a submission method. Some Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) in the state allow you to apply online, while others require you to visit the agency in person. In any case, filling out an application is free.

In order to apply for Section 8 in PA, you must understand what will be expected of you during this process. For example, you are required to bring in documents that prove your identity and other personal information. Moreover, if you qualify for vouchers, you must follow standard procedures for being placed on a waitlist. Get more detailed tips regarding the application process below.

When can I submit a Section 8 application in Pennsylvania?

If you want to submit a Section 8 housing application in Pennsylvania, make sure to check the submission guidelines in your county. Your county may not accept online submissions, which means that you can only submit a form during regular business hours. If your county does accept online submissions, you must visit the proper PHA website for information on submission times.

Remember that waitlists may be open for only a short amount of time. Consequently, you may have better luck submitting an application if you regularly check in with your local PHA. Overall, you can typically contact theses agencies by:

  • Calling the PHAs by phone.
  • Sending the agencies an email.
  • Visiting the PHAs in person.

What documents do I need to apply for Section 8 in Pennsylvania?

Filling out a PA HUD application will be much easier if you first gather all the required personal documents, even if you are able to fill out some portions of the form without referencing any paperwork. On the other hand, the income section of the form will require exact numbers.

Additionally, you will need to bring some of these documents to your local PHA. During your visit, a caseworker will use the provided documentation to verify your information.

It is important to note that even if you fill out a Section 8 application online for free, you will still be required to verify your information in person. Important documents for this process include:

  • Proof of identity. This may be a U.S. birth certificate, driver’s license, ID card, visa, permanent resident card or another approved legal document.
  • Proof of your Social Security Number (SSN). This may come in the form of a Social Security card, a W-2 form with your SSN listed on it or another authorized document.
  • Proof of income. A paycheck, W-2 form or letter from your current employer are all acceptable.
  • Proof of assets or resources, if applicable. For instance, you may be asked to display a recent bank statement.
  • Proof of enrollment in another federal assistance program, if applicable. If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program or benefits from other programs, you must disclose this information.

Whether you fill out the Pennsylvania Section 8 application online or complete it in person, your local PHA will request other documents from you as well. As an example, if you go to school, you must provide proof of enrollment in a college or university. If you have a disability, you may be asked to provide medical records.

If you are trying to decide which documents to bring to your PHA, keep in mind that it is better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.

Tips for Completing the Pennsylvania Section 8 Housing Application

Since you can only apply for Section 8 online in certain counties, it is important to plan out your submission method. For instance, applying in person will require you to prepare for a specific application time.

Consequently, it is always a good idea to call your local PHA in advance for further instructions. You may get the most current information on waitlists this way. Pertinent questions to ask a caseworker include:

  • Is the waitlist currently closed or open?
  • If the waitlist in this area is closed, when will it re-open?
  • Can I apply for Section 8 housing at another PHA in the state?
  • If apply for vouchers through a different PHA, will you give preference to applicants who live in that county?
  • Do I need to make an appointment to fill out a Section 8 application form or do you accept walk-ins?
  • What documents should I bring?
  • How long does it take to complete the application?

You may find the contact information for any PHA in Pennsylvania through a complete list of agencies in the state. This list will display website information, phone numbers and mailing addresses for each agency.

Understanding the Pennsylvania Section 8 Application Process

In order to complete a low income housing application, you must either fill one out online or visit your local public housing authority. PHAs normally do not mail out hard copies of the application form, as it is the least efficient submission method. As such, make sure to follow your local PHA’s submission rules and not the rules of a different agency.

How to Apply for Section 8 Online in Pennsylvania

In order to submit a HUD housing application online in PA, visit your official PHA portal. Counties including Lancaster and Harrisburg accept online submissions.

Some online application systems will only help a certain number of applicants at a time. Thus, if you try to apply for low income housing online, you may be placed on a virtual queue and receive an estimated wait time. Once it is your turn, you will have approximately 10 minutes to fill out the online form.

Note: Even if your county PHA accepts online submissions, it may have a waitlist that is closed. Therefore, you must visit that agency’s website in advance for waitlist information.

How to Submit the Pennsylvania Section 8 Housing Application in Person

If you are ready to sign up for Section 8 in person, visit your local PHA. Some counties allow you to make an appointment ahead of time so that you do not have to wait in line. Moreover, make sure to visit the office at least an hour before closing time so that you can finish the appointment.

In general, you may not fill out a form beforehand. Thus, it will be very helpful if you have your personal verification documents with you.

What happens after I apply for Section 8 in Pennsylvania?

If you complete your housing authority application online, you will receive a confirmation that your submission was received. If you applied in person, your case worker will inform you of the next steps. For instance, you may be contacted again if information on your application is incorrect or if the PHA needs to verify another document.

You will then receive an approval or denial notice once your PHA makes a decision. If you disagree with the decision, you may request an informal hearing with representatives from the PHA.

Different ways you can apply

Some PHAs only let you apply for a housing voucher in person. If you want to apply in person, you have to have the right form. You might be able to find the right form at the PHA office, or on the PHA’s website so you can print it. After you have all your documents and fill out your application, you turn in the documents and application form at the PHA office.

You might only be allowed to apply for Section 8 online through your PHA’s online portal. If you can only apply online, you need to make an account on the portal and fill out the online application form.

You might need to upload your supporting documents here, too. After you finish, you can usually come back to the portal to make changes and see your application status.

Some PHAs will let you turn in your application by mail, especially if you are currently living in another city or state. To apply by mail, you have to ask the PHA for an application, or get one on the website if you can.

After you finish your application, you have to mail the form and supporting documents to the address the PHA tells you. Make sure the envelope has the right address to make sure the PHA gets your application.