A Section 8 housing list in South Carolina is something you can use to find a home or apartment to lease with a rental assistance voucher. While there are many low income apartments for rent, not all of them will accept vouchers. It is your responsibility to locate a unit that will take your rental assistance while also meeting the requirements set by your public housing agency (PHA).
Section 8 listings are similar to those for regular apartments, but they tend to include more units that are rented by landlords who participate in this program. Read below to learn more about finding Section 8 approved housing for rent in South Carolina so you can get the most out of your voucher.
What is an approved Section 8 housing list in South Carolina?
Many housing agencies give you resources that make it easier to find a place to rent. In some cases, you may receive an official list of low income apartments for rent when a PHA issues your voucher.
Because each PHA is run independently, the exact type of listings you receive might vary. Certain agencies will provide you with the following resources:
- A list of local landlords who regularly take vouchers
- A packet with current rental listings
- Links to apartment for rent apps that the PHA has partnered with
- A webpage for future tenants
You may find that your PHA owns or manages a variety of renal properties itself. If so, you might be eligible to use your rental assistance at one of these units.
On the other hand, you are not restricted to selecting Section 8 listings owned by your housing authority. Your PHA must give you the option of looking for housing on the open market if you choose to do so.
It is also possible to find Section 8 rental listings through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which funds and oversees this program. With HUD homes for rent listings, you can find properties such as apartments, condos, townhomes, duplexes and even single-family homes.
Keep in mind that HUD funds a variety of programs, including public housing projects. You cannot use a Section 8 voucher to rent a unit located in a project due to the fact that these apartments already receive a federal subsidy. Instead, you are free to rent any other acceptable unit in the open market.
Note: If you plan on living in a rural area, you can also find housing with tools provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Other Ways to Find Section 8 Listings in South Carolina
When looking for homes for rent that accept Section 8, you are not limited to using the tools or information provided by your PHA or HUD. Instead, you can broaden your search to include other resources.
There are a variety of websites designed just for Section 8 rental listings and other types of low-income properties. GoSection8 active listings, for example, can be a helpful starting place if you are not sure where to begin your search. Resources such as these can include Section 8-eligible properties as well as other types of rentals, so it is important to check the description for each listing.
Moreover, it is possible to use the more popular apartment for rent apps and websites to locate acceptable housing. On these regular websites, you may need to look for certain phrases that indicate that a landlord is willing to be paid with vouchers. For example, an eligible unit may be described as “income-restricted.”
Keep in mind that not all landlords indicate whether vouchers are accepted or not. When looking through Section 8 listings in South Carolina, it is sometimes necessary to ask a landlord about his or her policy on vouchers.
Consequently, keep in mind that you may miss out on certain rental opportunities if you do not ask landlords about their willingness to participate in the program. Learn more about finding Section 8 approved housing by reading our guide here.
Quality Standards for Section 8 Approved Housing in South Carolina
As you search for Section 8 listings in SC, it is important to keep the program requirements in mind. The unit you choose needs to be:
- Leased by a landlord who takes vouchers.
- Able to pass a health and safety inspection.
- Rented at a fair market rate.
Your PHA will conduct an inspection using HUD’s health and safety standards. Moreover, housing agencies determine what rental rate is considered fair based on the unit’s size, location and condition.
Even if you found a unit on an approved Section 8 housing list, it will still need to pass an inspection. As such, be mindful that there is no guarantee that all Section 8 listings will meet your PHA’s requirements.
In most cases, your PHA will not allow you to rent a unit owned by a close family member. You can, however, choose to use your rental assistance where you currently live, provided that the unit meets the requirements described previously.
Tips to Help You Find Low Income Apartments for Rent in South Carolina
Because a Section 8 voucher gives you the freedom to rent any unit on the open market, you have some flexibility in choosing an apartment that suits your individual needs. When possible, consider picking a rental that has the features you need and is located close to work, school or other establishments you frequent in the community.
When looking for apartments for rent that accept Section 8, you should also understand the requirements that come with your voucher. Most importantly, you only have a limited amount of time to find a unit before your rental assistance expires.
PHAs must give you a minimum of 60 days to use your voucher. Depending on your housing authority’s policies, you may receive more time initially or be granted an extension. If you do not locate any acceptable Section 8 listings before your voucher expires, you may lose your rental assistance.
Moreover, your local PHA may require you to look for housing within a particular area. In some cases, you must rent a unit that is located in the housing agency’s jurisdiction.
Other times, you are free to look for a unit anywhere in the state. Furthermore, even if you are required to live in your PHA’s service area, this requirement may only apply for the first year that you receive assistance.