A Section 8 housing list in Virginia is a resource you can use to look for affordable rental housing. Once a public housing agency (PHA) grants you a housing choice voucher, it is your responsibility to a landlord willing to take your rental assistance. You may receive Section 8 listings to help you locate a rental. However, the task of finding a place to rent is ultimately up to you.
When looking for low income apartments for rent in Virginia, there are many resources at your disposal. Learn more about Section 8 rental listings that you may receive from your PHA, as well as other ways you can locate a suitable apartment, by reading the sections below.
What is an approved Section 8 housing list in Virginia?
Some PHAs provide voucher-holders with a list of low income apartments for rent, while others do not. When a housing authority has a list of rental resources, it may take many forms. PHAs may give renters:
- Links to approved apartment for rent apps that the PHA works with.
- A list of buildings or landlords that frequently take vouchers.
- A packet of information on current rentals.
Note that some housing authorities own and manage rental properties themselves. You may be eligible to choose Section 8 listings that are owned by your housing authority. However, you are not required to rent from your PHA under the housing choice voucher program.
You can also use the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to locate properties. With HUD homes for rent listings, you simply need to enter a city name or Zip code to find potential homes in your area.
HUD funds a variety of programs, and as such, you may find that listings include properties with specific eligibility criteria. For example, some units may be located in public housing projects. When choosing a unit, keep in mind that you usually cannot use a Section 8 voucher to rent a home that already receives a federal subsidy from a different program.
In addition to Section 8 approved housing for rent you may find from your PHA or HUD, you can also use resources provided by the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA). The VDHA oversees housing authorities in Virginia, while also providing tools that you can use to search for rentals.
Other Ways to Find Section 8 Listings in Virginia
Finding homes for rent that accept Section 8 can be challenging. If you cannot locate a rental using HUD, your PHA or other resources, there are a variety of other ways to find housing.
Many websites are made just for Section 8 listings and other low-income rental properties. For example, GoSection8 active listings in Virginia can be a helpful tool to use.
Keep in mind that while many sites focus on Section 8 properties, not all units will require a renter to hold a voucher. This means that you may be competing with other individuals who are looking for an affordable rental.
Furthermore, some properties on these sites will have specific eligibility criteria you need to meet. For example, some apartments for rent that accept Section 8 in Virginia are located in senior living communities. To rent such a unit, you may need to meet age requirements.
In addition to websites that focus on Section 8 rental listings, you can use essentially any website that advertises apartments. On mainstream apartment searching websites, you may need to look for certain phrases that indicate a unit is eligible for vouchers. For example, an eligible property may be described as “income-restricted.”
Not all landlords will advertise the fact that they take vouchers. If you are having trouble finding Section 8 listings, you can always ask landlords about their policy on vouchers. You may find that a property owner is willing to participate in the program even if he or she does not say so in a listing.
You can broaden your search for Section 8 approved housing even further by looking for newspaper ads and signs around the neighborhood. Find more tips for using a Section 8 rental list by reading our complete guide here.
Quality Standards for Section 8 Approved Housing in Virginia
After you find Section 8 approved housing for rent, the unit you choose will need to be inspected. PHAs check units to make sure that they are:
- Rented at a fair rate.
- In safe, sanitary and decent conditions.
- Owned by a landlord willing to take Section 8.
- The right size to accommodate your family.
Keep in mind that even if you found an apartment on an approved Section 8 housing list, it will still need to be inspected. There is no guarantee a unit will pass even if you found it through an official source.
Under this program, you are allowed to rent any type of housing, including apartments, condos, townhomes, single-family homes and more. You even may find that you are able to use your voucher where you currently live. However, it is important to be aware that PHAs typically do not allow you to rent from a close family member.
Tips to Help You Find Low Income Apartments for Rent in Virginia
When looking through a Section 8 housing list, it is helpful to keep a few program requirements in mind. First, you must use your voucher before it expires. Most PHAs only give you 60 days to find a place to rent. However, it is possible for a housing authority to grant an extension.
If you do not find any Section 8 listings before the deadline passes, you risk losing your rental assistance. In most cases, you need to start the entire application process over again if your voucher expires.
Second, you might need to look for Section 8 rental listings in a specific area. While you are free to rent any type of housing, some PHAs require that you find a unit located within their jurisdiction.
In most cases, this requirement only applies for the first year that you receive rental assistance if you did not already live in the PHA’s service area. However, this rule can affect where you search for Section 8 listings when you are first starting out.