A Section 8 housing list in Washington is a resource you can use to find an affordable apartment. When you receive a housing choice voucher from a public housing agency (PHA), it is your responsibility to find a suitable home or apartment to rent. You have a limited amount of time in which to locate a rental, and the unit you choose needs to meet certain PHA standards.
Section 8 listings can be found in a number of places. You may receive resources from your PHA to aid your search. If not, there are many other ways to find a suitable place to rent. Read below to learn everything you need to know about low income apartments for rent in WA and discover how to find a unit that will accept your rent assistance voucher.
What is an approved Section 8 housing list in Washington?
In some cases, you will receive an official list of low income apartments for rent when your PHA issues your rental assistance. Certain housing agencies partner with local landlords to provide listings to new voucher-holders. Other PHAs will provide links to approved apartment for rent apps or websites that you can use to find a rental.
Because each PHA is independent, the types of Section 8 rental listings you receive may vary depending on the organization that issued your voucher. For example, PHAs with websites will frequently include a section that discusses where to find an apartment. If a housing authority does not have a website, you may receive an informational packet or have the chance to look at rental listings on a bulletin board.
In addition to PHA resources, you can use tools provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD homes for rent listings often include:
- Single-family homes
- Townhomes and duplexes
- Apartments of all sizes, including studios
When using HUD or PHA resources, it is important to pay attention to the specific requirements for each unit. You will notice that some housing authority properties require residents to meet age or disability requirements. Furthermore, there may be a separate application process for certain units if they receive a different type of funding.
With a Section 8 voucher, you are free to choose any low income apartments for rent on the open market. You are not required to pick a unit owned by your PHA. In fact, you might not be able to use Section 8 assistance on an apartment that already receives a different type of subsidy. For that reason, it is important to read the eligibility rules carefully.
Other Ways to Find Section 8 Listings in Washington
Finding Section 8 approved housing for rent may be more challenging if you do not receive any official resources from your PHA. However, there are still plenty of ways to find homes for rent that accept Section 8 by searching on your own.
First, you may look for Section 8 listings in Washington using nearly any apartment searching website. Even if a PHA does not partner with a specific search engine, there are many websites with acceptable listings.
Some sites are intended just for low-income properties. For example, looking at GoSection8 active listings is a good way to start your search. You will usually find that websites like these include a variety of properties, not just units that require you to hold a voucher. This means you may be competing with other renters who are looking to save money on an apartment.
As a general rule, all apartment for rent apps and websites can be used to locate a unit. When looking for apartments for rent that accept Section 8 on other websites, be sure to keep an eye out for phrases that indicate vouchers are accepted. Some landlords will describe their properties as “income-restricted,” for example.
Keep in mind that some landlords will not advertise their units online. Your search may also include things such as:
- Newspaper ads
- For-rent signs in the neighborhood
Furthermore, not all property owners will specifically state that Section 8 vouchers are accepted. If you are having trouble finding Section 8 rental listings in WA, you may ask landlords about their policy on vouchers.
Quality Standards for Section 8 Approved Housing in Washington
When looking through a Section 8 housing list, you can narrow your search by keeping your PHA’s requirements in mind. Housing authorities will perform an inspection before you are allowed to move in. The unit you choose must be in safe, sanitary and decent condition in order to pass inspection.
In addition, the PHA will only approve Section 8 listings that are rented at a fair rate compared to other units on the market. If you choose a unit that is above fair market rent, you may be required to pay more towards the rent. PHAs have certain payment standards, and you cannot choose a unit above the specified amount.
Note that you can sometimes use a voucher on your current home if you do not wish to move. However, the unit needs to meet the same requirements as other Section 8 listings, such as rent limits and inspection standards. Learn more about choosing the best Section 8 rental listings by reading our full guide here.
Tips to Help You Find Low Income Apartments for Rent in Washington
Finding Section 8 listings in Washington can be challenging, but it is important that you start your search right away. This is because housing choice vouchers expire after a certain period of time. In most cases, you have between 60 and 120 days to secure an apartment before your voucher is no longer good.
If you are having trouble finding Section 8 rental listings, you might be able to get an extension from your PHA. However, vouchers still do not last forever. If your rental assistance expires before you get a chance to use it, you will need to start the entire application process over again.
As you look through a Section 8 housing list in Washington, it also helps to understand if your PHA requires you to rent in a specific area. If you did not already live in your housing agency’s service area, you will usually be required to move there for the first year that you get assistance. This requirement may not apply if you were already a local resident when your voucher was granted.