Submitting a West Virginia Section 8 application is the first step in getting a housing choice voucher. You can apply for Section 8 with any public housing agency (PHA) of your choosing. Housing authorities are in charge of providing vouchers to eligible families, while the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds the program.
It is important to keep in mind that the first Section 8 housing application steps you typically need to follow are considered a pre-application process. As such, the initial form is used to determine your basic eligibility. Then, you will be required to complete a full Section 8 application form once your name is selected for a voucher. Read below to learn how to fill out your pre-application and discover what happens during the application process.
When can I submit a Section 8 application in West Virginia?
You can apply for Section 8 housing when a PHA is actively accepting new petitioners. Most housing authorities do not take applications year-round. This is because there are usually not enough vouchers to help every eligible family at once.
When you have the opportunity to sign up for Section 8, your name will typically be added to a waiting list. PHAs may put applicants on waiting lists until vouchers become available. The amount of time you spend on such a list can vary greatly depending on where you applied. In areas with a high demand for vouchers, it may take months or years before your name is selected from the list.
Because you can only submit a HUD application when a housing authority has its waiting list open, you may need to keep an eye out for announcements about the list opening and closing. PHAs usually post notices online, in newspapers or on radio stations when waiting lists open. In many cases, you must apply for low income housing before a certain deadline. Waiting lists do not usually remain open for long.
Keep in mind that you can apply for Section 8 housing in West Virginia with any PHA of your choosing. Moreover, you have the option to apply for help through more than one housing agency at a time, which may reduce your overall wait time.
What documents do I need to apply for Section 8 in West Virginia?
When you complete a housing authority application, the PHA will need to verify your eligibility. Sometimes, you must prove your eligibility before you are added to a waiting list. However, local PHAs usually only request documentation when your family is chosen for a voucher.
The types of documents you need with a HUD housing application can vary depending on your PHA’s preferences and your individual situation. It is common to need some or all of the following:
- Photo identification card
- Social Security card
- Birth certificate
- Citizenship or immigration documents
- Pay stubs or bank statements
- Benefit award letters, if applicable
You will need to verify the eligibility of everyone in your household. Learn more about the documents you need by reading our complete guide here.
Tips for Completing the West Virginia Section 8 Housing Application
It is important to fill out a low income housing application correctly and completely. Issues with your application can lead to delays or even prevent you from getting onto a waiting list in time.
Most importantly, you should answer every question on the form. If a question does not apply to your household, it is usually preferable to write “N/A” or “none” instead of leaving the answer blank. A West Virginia Section 8 housing application should also be signed by each adult member of your household.
When you sign up for Section 8, you should also understand how PHAs select applicants. In most cases, housing authorities assign preferences to households that meet certain requirements. Applicants with preferences might be able to get assistance more quickly. You may qualify for a preference if you:
- Are a senior.
- Have a disability.
- Are a veteran.
- Are a local resident.
- Have been a victim of domestic violence.
- Were displaced from home.
Be aware that not all PHAs use preferences. Furthermore, if you qualify for preferential placement, there is no guarantee that you will receive help right away.
Understanding the West Virginia Section 8 Application Process
You can typically submit a Section 8 application online, via mail or in person. Contact your local PHA to learn about the methods you can use to sign up for assistance.
How to Apply for Section 8 Online in West Virginia
Some PHAs may allow you to submit an application online. If so, online applications will be available on the PHA’s website. Note that some housing agencies may simply link to a downloadable application form, while others will permit you to complete the entire application electronically.
Before starting the process, be aware that you can always fill out Section 8 application online free of charge, due to the fact that housing authorities are not allowed to charge a fee to sign up.
How to Submit the West Virginia Section 8 Housing Application in Person
Many PHAs in West Virginia allow you to apply for help in person. Note that the office hours and application policies will vary depending on the housing agency you choose. For example, some organizations may only accept applications on certain days or during certain hours.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing by Mail
If you cannot visit a PHA in person, you usually have the option of requesting a paper form in the mail. Simply contact your local housing agency to receive the correct form. Once complete, a Section 8 application usually needs to be returned to a specific address, which will be indicated on the form.
What happens after I apply for Section 8 in West Virginia?
Once your WV HUD application is submitted, you will usually be placed on a waiting list. However, a PHA may issue rental assistance right away if funding is available. In the event you are added to a waiting list, it is important that you keep your information up to date.
If a PHA is not able to contact you, your name might be removed from the list even if you are still eligible. You should report changes to any of the following right away:
- Name or personal details.
- Address or other contact information.
- Income, family status or other eligibility factors.