There are a wide variety of low income apartments for rent in West Virginia, but not all landlords are willing to participate in the Section 8 program. A Section 8 housing list is a resource you can use to find rental units where you can use your housing choice voucher. In some cases, you might receive official Section 8 listings from your public housing agency (PHA). However, you may need to look for listings on your own.
Once you find Section 8 approved housing for rent, the unit you choose will need to pass a PHA inspection. There are a variety of housing quality standards that you should keep in mind when looking for a unit. Read below to learn more about finding homes for rent that accept Section 8 and discover what requirements a unit needs to meet before you can move in.
What is an approved Section 8 housing list in West Virginia?
You may or may not receive a list of low income apartments for rent when your PHA issues your voucher. Housing agencies are all independent organizations, which means that the types of resources you receive will vary depending on who issued your voucher. You may get any of the following from your PHA:
- A webpage with apartments that are currently available.
- A list of properties that are owned by the PHA.
- Access to a bulletin board with ads from local landlords.
- An informational packet with listings.
- Links to apartment for rent apps or websites that the PHA has partnered with.
Note that Section 8 rental listings you receive may include properties owned or managed by the housing authority. You may be eligible to use a voucher in a PHA-owned unit. However, your housing authority cannot require that you rent from them. Instead, you are always given the option to choose a unit on the open market.
In addition to PHA resources, you can also use tools provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD homes for rent listings may include everything from studio apartments to single-family homes. Note that many HUD listings often include properties with specific rules, such as age or disability requirements you need to meet.
If you live in a rural area, you may also find Section 8 rental listings by going through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA listings are organized by county, allowing you to find units in specific areas of the state.
When looking for apartments for rent that accept Section 8, some of the results you find may include units in public housing complexes or housing projects. Keep in mind that if a unit already receives a federal subsidy, you are usually not allowed to use a housing choice voucher at that unit. Learn more about the requirements for choosing Section 8 listings by reading our full guide here.
Other Ways to Find Section 8 Listings in West Virginia
If you do not receive an approved Section 8 housing list from your PHA, you may need to use other methods for finding a place to rent. Keep in mind that most housing agencies do not have the resources for helping each voucher holder to search for an apartment. It is ultimately your responsibility to find a suitable place to rent.
It is possible to find Section 8 listings using a variety of online resources. Some websites are designed just for low-income properties. For example, you may use GoSection8 active listings to find suitable apartments. These websites often contain a variety of listings, some of which might not require a voucher. As such, you may be competing with other renters who are interested in affordable units.
Even if you receive an approved Section 8 housing list in WV, you are still free to look for a unit using any method. It is possible to find Section 8 listings on nearly any apartment searching app or website.
However, you are not limited to choosing units that are described as being Section 8-eligible. You can also ask any landlord if he or she will accept Section 8, as some property owners do not advertise their policy on vouchers.
Quality Standards for Section 8 Approved Housing in West Virginia
Once you find Section 8 listings that you are interested in, the unit you choose will need to pass a PHA inspection. Housing authorities will verify that a rental is:
- In safe, sanitary and decent conditions.
- Free from major damage or defects.
- Rented at a fair rate compared to similar units.
- Owned by a landlord willing to participate in the program.
If a unit does not meet the quality standards, a landlord might be given the opportunity to fix any issues before a certain deadline. However, some issues will make a unit ineligible, which means you will need to find a different place to rent.
In addition to looking through Section 8 rental listings in WV, you might consider using your voucher where you currently live. If you choose to use your assistance with your current unit, it will need to meet the same quality requirements as any other rental.
Tips to Help You Find Low Income Apartments for Rent in West Virginia
Locating Section 8 listings can be challenging sometimes, but you will want to start your search right away. Most vouchers expire after 60 days, meaning that you have a limited amount of time to secure a rental. If you do not find a place to use your assistance before it expires, you will have to start the entire application process over again.
If you are having trouble finding Section 8 rental listings, your PHA may grant you an extension so you have more time to look. In most cases, you must ask for an extension in writing and submit your request before a certain deadline.
It is also important that you look for Section 8 listings in the correct area. If you do not already live in your PHA’ service area, you usually need to move there for the first year that you receive assistance. In most cases, you can move elsewhere after your first 12-month lease is up.