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Learn How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Texas

You can apply for Section 8 in Texas through your local public housing agency (PHA). There are many different PHAs that serve communities in Texas. Therefore, you must submit a Section 8 application to the housing agency that serves the community you want to live in. In general, this program receives federal oversight from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). However, because the Housing Choice Voucher Program is administered locally, the exact application steps may vary depending on where you live.

When learning to fill out a Section 8 housing application, be mindful that you must provide information on yourself and each member of the household who wishes to receive rental assistance. Once the PHA receives your form, you will typically be placed on a waiting list until a voucher becomes available. Read below to learn more about the application process and discover what you need to know about waiting lists.

When can I submit a Section 8 application in Texas?

The best time to apply for Section 8 housing will vary depending on which PHA you want to use. While certain organizations accept applications at any time, it is more common for PHAs to stop accepting applications periodically when there are too many people waiting for assistance already.

In such cases, you will need to submit your HUD application when your local PHA opens its list. These establishments will usually make a public announcement when application lists are opened and closed.

It may be in your best interest to submit a low income housing application as soon as the PHA starts getting applications. Many housing authorities will only have their application list open for a short period of time before it closes again.

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

A Texas Section 8 application form requires you to share details such as your name, address, citizenship status, date of birth, Social Security Number (SSN) and income. Various types of paperwork may be required to verify this information, such as:

  • Bank statements.
  • Tax returns.
  • Income or employment records.
  • Birth certificates.
  • Photo identification.
  • Social Security Cards.

If you have special circumstances, additional documentation may be required. For example, you may need to verify details relating to veteran or disability status.

If there is more than one person in your household, you must provide details on your HUD housing application regarding every person who is applying for assistance. Furthermore, you need to indicate each applicant’s relationship to the head of the household. Learn more about filling out a Section 8 application by downloading our comprehensive guide here.

Tips for Completing the Texas Section 8 Housing Application

Before you apply for low income housing in Texas, it helps to understand that many PHAs utilize wait lists to keep track of their beneficiaries. When a PHA begins accepting applications, you will typically be placed on a waiting list until a voucher becomes available. However, a housing agency may be able to provide assistance right away if it has vouchers available.

In many cases, your initial TX housing authority application will only be used to determine whether you meet the requirements to be placed on the waiting list. Waiting lists are generally very long, but the length of time that it takes for an applicant to get benefits varies based on the current demand for vouchers.

Many housing authorities use local preferences as a method for selecting applicants with the greatest need for assistance. As a result, some petitioners receive preferential placement on the waiting list and might be able to get a voucher more quickly. Local preferences may exist for applicants who:

  • Are veterans.
  • Are seniors.
  • Have a disability.
  • Live or work in the area served by the PHA.
  • Are involuntarily displaced from home.

Understanding the Texas Section 8 Application Process

You can sign up for Section 8 in Texas using several different methods, including online, in person or by mail. Keep in mind that the specific application methods and steps may vary from one PHA to the next.

How to Apply for Section 8 Online in Texas

In order to apply online, you must find a PHA that has a website and accepts electronic applications. Not all PHAs have this capability.

Once you locate the application you need, simply follow the on-screen instructions to submit your form. You can fill out the Section 8 application online free due to the fact that housing agencies do not charge a fee for you to apply.

How to Submit the Texas Section 8 Housing Application in Person

Most PHAs accept in-person Section 8 applications in Texas. To apply using this method, simply visit your local agency during its business hours. Certain PHAs may require an appointment or ask that you complete specific steps, so you may wish to call ahead for assistance.

How to Apply for Section 8 Housing by Mail

If you wish to apply through the mail, your PHA may provide a Section 8 application that you can download and print from its website. Additionally, you may contact a housing agency to receive a paper copy of the required form.

What happens after I apply for Section 8 in Texas?

When you submit a Section 8 housing application in Texas, you may face several outcomes. First, your application may be denied right away if you do not meet the basic qualifications. In such cases, you can appeal the decision by requesting a hearing.

Second, your Section 8 application may be approved right away if the PHA currently has vouchers available. In such cases, you will meet with a PHA worker who will explain the program rules, provide your voucher and go over any questions you may have.

Third, you may be placed on a waiting list as mentioned above. In this case, it is crucial that you keep your information up-to-date so that you do not miss any important communications. For example, you should notify the PHA if your address changes.

Failing to keep your information current can result in you missing notifications from the PHA about your wait list status. Unfortunately, you may forfeit your spot on the waiting list if a PHA is unable to get ahold of you.

Note: Some PHAs may require you to submit a new Section 8 application form every time the wait list reopens. Make sure you understand the wait list rules to improve your chances of receiving a voucher.

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.