Learn How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Wisconsin
Submitting a Wisconsin Section 8 application is the first step you take in order to get a housing choice voucher. You can apply for Section 8 with any public housing agency (PHA) of your choosing. Each PHA receives funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). However, housing authorities are all separate from one another. Therefore, the application process can vary depending on the PHA you choose.
When you sign up for Section 8, it is important to understand how the process works and how PHAs choose applicants. Read below to learn everything you need to know about before you apply for Section 8 housing, such as waiting lists, required documents, local preferences and more.
When can I submit a Section 8 application in Wisconsin?
You can fill out a Section 8 housing application whenever a PHA has its waiting list open. Housing agencies may open and close their waiting lists depending on the availability of funding and the number of applicants. If a waiting list is full and the PHA cannot assist the families on the list in the near future, it will typically stop accepting new applicants.
In the event you cannot apply for Section 8 with your preferred PHA, remember that you can sign up with a different organization in the meantime. It is possible to submit a Section 8 application form to as many PHAs as you want. Doing so may reduce your overall wait time.
If you are waiting to submit a HUD application in Wisconsin with a particular PHA, you can keep an eye out for public notices. Housing agencies announce when wait lists open and close by putting ads online, in newspapers or on local radio stations.
When a wait list opens, you should submit your HUD housing application as soon as possible. PHAs do not usually keep their lists open for a long period of time. If you miss your opportunity, you may need to wait for months or even years until the list reopens.
What documents do I need to apply for Section 8 in Wisconsin?
Your low income housing application will need to include documents that verify your eligibility. Depending on a PHA’s requirements, you may only need to provide proof of your qualifications when you are chosen for a voucher. As such, it may not be necessary to submit certain additional documentation with your initial application.
When you apply for low income housing, the PHA will want to check details such as your identity, legal presence, family status, income and other eligibility factors. The following documents may be used to verify your qualifications:
- Birth certificates
- Pay stubs
- Bank statements
- Benefit award letters
- Social Security cards
- Immigration documents
- Photo identification cards
Having all of your documents together will help the housing authority application process go more smoothly. Local PHAs may delay your application if you are unable to provide the necessary documents.
Note that a housing agency may also verify your eligibility by contacting banks, employers and organizations directly. You usually need to sign a consent form at some point during the application process so the PHA can check your qualifications with outside sources.
Tips for Completing the Wisconsin Section 8 Housing Application
When you apply for low income housing in Wisconsin, it is important to follow all of the instructions provided by your PHA. Each housing authority may have its own requirements for filling out an application.
In most cases, you are not permitted to submit an incomplete application form. This means that you must answer every question rather than leaving any information blank.
Your Section 8 application also should be signed by every adult member of your household. Submitting an incomplete application will usually lead to delays, and may even cause you to miss your opportunity to sign up for assistance.
Even though you can apply for Section 8 with more than one PHA at a time, it is important to remember that each housing authority is a separate organization. There is no universal Section 8 application form that you can submit to every PHA.
When you submit your low income housing application, it also helps to understand how PHAs select applicants. In many cases, a housing agency will use local preferences to determine waitlist placement. You may qualify for a local preference if you:
- Are a senior.
- Have a disability.
- Were displaced from home.
- Are homeless or living in substandard housing.
- Are a local resident.
- Have been a victim of domestic violence.
Find more tips for successfully filling out a Section 8 application by reading our detailed guide here.
Understanding the Wisconsin Section 8 Application Process
PHAs usually allow you to submit a Section 8 application online, in person or through the mail. Housing authorities commonly require you to use one application method over another.
How to Apply for Section 8 Online in Wisconsin
You can fill out Section 8 application online free of charge if your PHA has a website with an application portal. However, note that not all housing agencies provide an online application option. Moreover, keep in mind that links to online applications may be removed when the PHA has its waiting list closed.
How to Submit the Wisconsin Section 8 Housing Application in Person
Some PHAs prefer that you apply for Section 8 by visiting their office in person. To sign up for help in person, be sure to check the office hours and policies. You may need to visit during a certain time, set up an appointment or bring specific paperwork to complete the application.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing by Mail
A PHA may be able to send you a paper application in the mail if you are unable to visit the office or apply for help online. Completed applications usually need to be returned to a specific mailing address, which will be indicated on the form.
What happens after I apply for Section 8 in Wisconsin?
After you sign up for Section 8 in WI, you will either be denied, placed on a waiting list or granted a voucher right away. In the event that you are denied benefits, you may be able to appeal the decision and submit a new application form.
If you are added to a waiting list, it is important that you notify the PHA of any changes. For example, you should report changes to your:
- Address or contact information.
- Sources of income.
- Family composition.