Section 8 listings in Rhode Island are used for properties that accept housing choice vouchers. After a public housing agency (PHA) grants you a voucher, it is your responsibility to find an acceptable unit to rent. There are many low income apartments for rent in Rhode Island, but not all landlords are willing to work with this program. Furthermore, not every unit will meet PHA requirements.
A Section 8 housing list is a useful tool when searching for an approved apartment or home to rent. Your PHA may or may not give you a list to use when you begin your search. Below, learn more about finding Section 8 approved housing for rent and learn what requirements an apartment needs to meet under this program.
What is an approved Section 8 housing list in Rhode Island?
Finding homes for rent that accept Section 8 can be challenging, but there are many resources at your disposal. One of the best tools is provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which funds the Section 8 program.
With HUD homes for rent listings, you can enter a city or ZIP code to locate properties in your community, such as:
- Single-family homes
- Townhomes and duplexes
- Condos and apartments
Some of the Section 8 listings found through HUD will have specific eligibility criteria, such as age or disability requirements. You may also find that these listings include units in public housing projects.
However, you cannot use a housing choice voucher on a unit that already receives federal assistance. You are free to rent any privately-owned home or apartment on the open market.
You might also receive Section 8 rental listings from your PHA after you get a voucher. Because each PHA is an independent organization, the types of resources you receive may vary. Local PHAs may provide you with some of the following to aid your search for Section 8 approved housing:
- A webpage with active listings
- Contact information for local landlords who have leased to voucher-holders in the past
- An informational packet with rental listings
You may notice that some PHAs own and manage their own rental properties. The Section 8 listings you receive from a housing authority might include such listings. However, your PHA cannot require you to rent a property that it owns.
Generally, not all PHAs have the time or resources to maintain their own database of rental information. Instead, certain housing agencies partner with certain websites to help voucher-holders find a place to live.
In such cases, you might be directed to use apartment for rent apps and websites that the PHA endorses. Learn more about finding apartments for rent that accept Section 8 by reading our guide here.
Other Ways to Find Section 8 Listings in Rhode Island
If you receive a list of low income apartments for rent from your PHA, keep in mind that you do not have to select any of the units on the list. You are always free to rent any suitable apartment on the open market.
There are many resources for finding homes for rent that accept Section 8, such as websites, newspaper ads and other types of postings around the community. Some apps and websites are designed just for low-income listings. As an example, you can browse through GoSetion8 active listings to find a unit to rent.
Most mainstream apartment searching websites allow you to look for low-income properties as well. When searching for Section 8 rental listings on a regular website, you may need to look for terms such as “income-restricted” that indicate vouchers are accepted.
Not all landlords advertise the fact that they take Section 8. If you find a property that you are interested in, it is often worthwhile to ask the landlord about his or her policy on vouchers.
Quality Standards for Section 8 Approved Housing in Rhode Island
After going through a Section 8 housing list and choosing a unit, the next step in the rental process is an inspection. PHAs look over each unit to make sure that it is are safe, sanitary and decent.
A unit may not pass if there is major damage or other issues that present a concern. Note that even if you find a unit on an approved Section 8 housing list, it does not guarantee the apartment will pass the inspection.
Additionally, the apartment you choose needs to be rented by a landlord who takes housing choice vouchers. If your current landlord participates in the program, you may find that it is possible to use your rental assistance where you live now.
However, you cannot generally rent from a family member under this program. PHAs usually require that you lease a unit from a private landlord.
Tips to Help You Find Low Income Apartments for Rent in Rhode Island
When looking for Section 8 listings in Rhode Island, it is helpful to consider factors such as the cost of rent and utilities. Your PHA will cover a certain amount of your rent, but you might be expected to pay more if you choose a unit that is rented above the fair market rate.
It is important that you understand all of the rules that apply to your voucher as well. First, you only have a limited amount of time to look for Section 8 rental listings before your voucher expires.
As a general rule, you may have as little as 60 days to find a place to rent. Some PHAs give you more time or let you apply for an extension.
Second, you might be required to rent a unit that is located in your PHA’s jurisdiction for the first year that you receive assistance. This rule usually only applies if you did not already live in the PHA’s service area when you were granted a voucher.
When you look for Section 8 listings, this rule might affect the scope of your search. Ask your PHA for clarification if you are unsure of the rules that apply to you.