Submitting a Section 8 application in South Carolina is the first step you must take to receive a housing choice voucher. You can apply for Section 8 through any public housing agency (PHA) of your choosing. To reduce your wait time, you may even consider applying for help with more than one housing authority at a time. You will need to follow the Section 8 housing application steps each time you apply, due to the fact that PHAs are independent from one another.
When you sign up for Section 8, it is important to understand how PHAs process forms and what factors might affect the outcome of your application. If you wish to learn everything you need to know about the application process so you can improve your chances of being approved, read the sections below.
When can I submit a Section 8 application in South Carolina?
You may apply for low income housing in SC whenever a local PHA has a waiting list open. Overall, a waiting list is something that most PHAs use when there are more applicants than there are vouchers available. The Section 8 program is so popular that there are often not enough vouchers for every eligible family.
While the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) oversees and funds the Section 8 program, it does not determine when PHAs open or close their waiting lists. Instead, each housing agency will decide when to stop taking new applicants based on factors such as the availability of vouchers.
You may not have many opportunities to apply for Section 8 housing in areas with a higher demand for rental assistance. When a PHA does open its waiting list, it will be announced in local newspapers, on radio stations or through other media. If you are waiting to submit a HUD application with a specific PHA, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for such notices.
Remember that you are allowed to apply for Section 8 with any housing authority of your choosing. Some PHAs prefer to help local applicants first, but you may still be able to receive a voucher from any housing authority in the state if you are eligible. Learn more about the HUD housing application process by reading our guide here.
What documents do I need to apply for Section 8 in South Carolina?
The information on your housing authority application will need to be verified before you are approved for a voucher. PHAs commonly request the following documentation to prove your qualifications for this program:
- Birth certificate
- Photo identification or another form of ID
- Immigration or citizenship verification
- Bank statements, pay stubs or benefit award letters to prove your income
- Proof of Social Security Number (SSN)
Because most PHAs use waiting lists, your initial application is typically only used to see if you are eligible for placement on the list. Depending on your PHA’s Section 8 application procedures, you may or may not need to submit your documents when you first sign up for assistance. In any case, you should be prepared to give the PHA proof of your eligibility once your name is selected for a voucher.
In addition to providing documents, you may also need to sign a consent form that allows the PHA to verify your information with outside sources. Housing authorities may contact banks, employers or other organizations directly to check your eligibility.
Tips for Completing the South Carolina Section 8 Housing Application
When you sign up for Section 8 in South Carolina, it helps to understand how waiting lists work. Each PHA has its own policies for waiting lists. However, most organizations use certain methods for determining where you are placed on such a list.
Certain local PHAs place applicants on the list on a first-come, first-served basis. Other organizations will use something called local preferences to determine waitlist placement. You might be put higher on the list if you:
- Are a senior.
- Are a veteran.
- Have a disability.
- Have been a victim of domestic violence.
- Are a local resident.
- Have been displaced form home.
Filling out a Section 8 application form correctly is also important. Generally, most PHAs require that you answer every question rather than leaving information blank.
When a question does not apply to your family, you can usually write “N/A” in the field rather than leaving it blank. Unfortunately, your low income housing application can be denied if it is incomplete, even if you are eligible.
Lastly, it is important to only submit one Section 8 application form per PHA. Attempting to send in more than one application will usually result in all of your forms being rejected. You can apply for help from more than one PHA at a time, provided that you only submit one form to each housing agency.
Understanding the South Carolina Section 8 Application Process
Some PHAs have a variety of application methods available, while others will require you to sign up using only one method. Ask your PHA for specific instructions.
How to Apply for Section 8 Online in South Carolina
A housing authority may allow you to submit a Section 8 application online if the organization has a website. Although the specific online application procedures will differ, you usually need to create an account before you can start the process. If you receive a confirmation number at the end of your application, be sure to save it for future reference.
How to Submit the South Carolina Section 8 Housing Application in Person
Some PHAs allow you to visit their office in person to sign up for assistance. However, this is only the case if the housing authority has its waiting list open. As such, contact your PHA for information on office hours and application procedures.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing by Mail
If your housing agency has a paper application form, you can usually request to receive a copy in the mail. Completed forms can simply be returned to the correct address, along with any documents the PHA requires.
What happens after I apply for Section 8 in South Carolina?
In most cases, you will be added to a waiting list once your application has been processed. However, some PHAs are able to grant assistance right away.
When you receive a voucher, it is usually necessary to attend an informational meeting to learn about the next steps in the housing process.