A Wisconsin Section 8 housing list is a tool you can use to find a home or apartment that will accept a housing choice voucher. When you receive assistance from a public housing agency (PHA), you may or may not get a list of acceptable rentals to choose from. Ultimately, finding homes for rent that accept Section 8 is your responsibility.
Once you locate Section 8 rental listings, the unit you choose will need to pass an inspection. PHAs check that a rental is safe, sanitary and decent before you can move in. Read below to learn more about using Section 8 listings to find a rental and discover what standards a unit needs to meet under this program.
What is an approved Section 8 housing list in Wisconsin?
You may receive a list of low income apartments for rent when your PHA grants you a voucher. The type of listings you receive will vary due to the fact that each housing authority is an individual organization. PHAs may provide you with one of the following resources to help you find housing:
- A list of local landlords who rent to voucher-holders
- A bulletin board with ads from local landlords
- A website or webpage for future tenants
- An informational packet with current listings
- Links to approved apartment for rent apps or websites that you can use
If you receive Section 8 rental listings from your housing agency, you may notice that the list contains properties owned by the PHA itself. You usually have the option of choosing a PHA-owned property as long as you meet the eligibility requirements for the unit in question.
However, your housing authority cannot require that you lease from them. You may choose any unit you want on the open market, provided it meets the program requirements.
You can also find apartments for rent that accept Section 8 by using the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). With resources such as HUD homes for rent listings, you can locate all types of units from studio apartments to single-family homes.
Many HUD listings also include units in housing projects or public housing. Note that if a unit already receives a different type of federal subsidy, it is usually not eligible for a housing choice voucher.
In addition to PHA and HUD resources, you may also be able to locate an apartment through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). If you plan on living in a rural area, USDA listings can help you find units in the county of your choosing. Learn more about using a Section 8 housing list by reading our detailed guide here.
Other Ways to Find Section 8 Listings in Wisconsin
Finding homes for rent that accept Section 8 in Wisconsin may seem more challenging if you do not receive any resources from your PHA. However, the process of finding Section 8 listings is similar to locating any other type of rental home. For example, most apartment for rent apps and websites include a variety of properties that accept vouchers.
When using a mainstream website to locate Section 8 approved housing for rent, keep in mind that landlords may use different terminology in their listings. A unit may be described as “income-restricted,” for example.
Some landlords also do not specify whether vouchers are accepted at all. If you are unsure, you may always ask a landlord about his or her policy towards housing choice vouchers. You may find that many landlords are willing to participate in the program.
A variety of websites are designed just for Section 8 rental listings, which may make it easier to find a unit. For example, you may use GoSection8 active listings as a starting place. On websites such as these, keep in mind that landlords can sometimes advertise other types of units. Not all properties will require a renter to have a voucher.
When looking for low income apartments for rent in WI, it may help to broaden your search. Not all landlords advertise units online. You may find additional opportunities by looking in places such as:
- Bulletin boards around the community.
- Ads in local newspapers.
- For-rent signs in neighborhoods.
Quality Standards for Section 8 Approved Housing in Wisconsin
Many homes on an approved Section 8 housing list will meet your PHA’s requirements. However, all units must be inspected before you are allowed to move in. Housing authorities check to make sure that the unit you choose is:
- Owned by a landlord willing to take vouchers.
- In safe, sanitary and decent conditions.
- Rented at a fair rate.
- The appropriate size for your family.
In most cases, you are free to choose any type of housing on the open market as long as its rent does not exceed your PHA’s payment standards. Even if a home passes a health and safety inspection, it may not be approved if the rent is too high based on your income.
In addition to looking at Section 8 listings on the open market, you may also consider asking your current landlord about using your rental assistance. In many cases, it is possible to use your voucher where you currently live rather than moving. Your home will need to meet the same requirements as any other unit.
Tips to Help You Find Low Income Apartments for Rent in Wisconsin
When looking for Section 8 rental listings in Wisconsin, it is important to keep a few program requirements in mind. First, your PHA may require you to live in a specific area.
In most cases, you need to live within your housing authority’s jurisdiction for the first year you receive assistance. This requirement might not apply if you already lived in its service area when you were granted a voucher.
In any case, you are allowed to move elsewhere after the first year and take your rental assistance with you. This process is known as portability. Even though you are free to keep your rental assistance wherever you move, these rules might affect where you look for Section 8 listings when you begin your search.
Second, you need to find Section 8 approved housing before your voucher expires. In many cases, you only have 60 days to locate a rental. If you are unable to find a suitable place before the deadline, you might be able to request an extension. Unfortunately, you must start the entire application process over if your voucher expires before you use it.