Section 8 in Texas is a government program that makes it easier to afford your monthly rent. Finding low income housing can be a challenge in Texas, especially in larger cities where it is often hard to find rentals of any kind. However, this program provides a monthly voucher that reduces the amount you owe each month for rent.
Section 8 housing is a federally funded program overseen by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but it is run at the local level through a network of public housing authorities (PHAs). Each PHA serves only a small part of the state, and given how large Texas is, there are more than 400 different organizations providing this service statewide.
It is important to be aware that there are certain areas of the state where HUD housing is not available due to how low the population is in certain rural communities. Below, learn more about qualifying for this program and find out how to apply for assistance.
Discover Texas Section 8 Requirements
The main Section 8 requirements in Texas relate to your income, family status, citizenship, assets and expenses. To see if you meet the Section 8 qualifications, it is best to start by looking at your income. In most cases, your family’s income must be no greater than 50 percent of the median family income in your county or metropolitan area. Because the median income varies across the state, the exact Section 8 income limits will be different depending on where you live.
When considering your Section 8 housing eligibility, keep in mind that your family size also affects your income. For example, a family of four can qualify with a higher income than a family of two. Your Section 8 eligibility may change if the median income in your area increases or decreases in the future.
Understanding who counts as a family member is the next step in determining your eligibility. Note that a family is not necessarily the same thing as a household. As far as HUD is concerned, family members include yourself as well as people living with you who are related to you by blood, marriage, adoption or another legal action. To receive other types of government assistance, you may be able to count household members who are not in your family. However, that is not the case for this program.
A family can also be composed of a single member if that person is elderly, disabled or has been displaced from home due to a natural disaster or government action. A single person can meet the Section 8 housing requirements in other ways as well, such as being the last remaining member of a family that receives vouchers.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Texas
Filling out a Section 8 application is the first step you need to take after determining if you are eligible. When you apply for Section 8, keep in mind that your initial application will only get you placed on a waiting list unless the PHA is able to assist you immediately.
In some cases, a Section 8 housing application for the waiting list will only include basic information about your family. However, if the PHA determines that you are ineligible at this stage, you will not be able to get on the waiting list or move onto the next step in the application process.
The exact methods and steps you use to apply for Section 8 housing will vary depending on the PHA that you are working with. For example, some PHAs may allow you to fill out a Section 8 application online in Texas, while others will require a paper application. In any case, you will usually need to provide the same information when you apply for low income housing, which may include:
- Your address, phone number and other contact information.
- The names and basic details of everyone who will be living in your unit.
- Information on your income, assets and other resources.
- The name of your employer, bank and other places that could be used to verify your income, expenses and family composition.
In some cases, you will qualify for preferential placement on a waiting list based on the information in your application. For example, most PHAs work to assist families with the lowest income first. You may ask the local PHA about any preferences that may affect your placement on a waiting list.
Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in Texas
Because Section 8 in Texas is used by many families, there are sometimes not enough vouchers available for every family that needs assistance. As mentioned above, you may be placed on a Section 8 waiting list for this reason after you apply.
Unfortunately, in areas with a high demand for vouchers, it can take a long time for your name to reach the top of the waiting list. If you are currently waiting, you may check your Section 8 waiting list status in TX by contacting the PHA that took your application.
In any case, it is important to keep in mind that you must remain eligible for assistance when your name comes up on the list. For example, if your income increases while you are on the Section 8 waiting list, you may not be eligible for assistance when your name reaches the top, even if you qualified when you first applied.
Learn About Texas Section 8 Housing Lists
Finding low income apartments for rent in TX can be a challenge, even if you are approved for a voucher through this program. To help meet this need, a Section 8 housing list is provided by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), which has a Vacancy Clearinghouse tool you can use to look for rentals across the state. Note that even though the TDHCA provides Section 8 listings, this department is not in charge of providing vouchers for the entire state of Texas.
Be aware that if you receive a voucher, you have the freedom to choose any rental unit that accepts vouchers. Ultimately, the PHA will need to approve the unit you choose before you are able to move in. Sometimes, the best way to find a unit is to ask for an approved Section 8 housing list from your PHA.