How to Find Nice, Affordable Housing through Section 8

Artwork: Robin Mead

Section 8 is a housing program for low-income people. It can make your rent super cheap.

Section 8 can be a key to long term stability for people who are poor and disabled.

If you live in Section 8 housing, the rent is set at 30% of your income. Sometimes less.

For a person on SSI, this means your rent will likely be $250 per month. Sometimes less.

Two Kinds of Section 8

There are two kinds of Section 8:

🌸 Section 8 Housing Vouchers – These are hard to get. But they are very good!! If you get on this, you can live anywhere (as long as you can convince the landlord to take your voucher). It is hard to get on, but most people who get this stay on for life.

🌸 Section 8 Project-Based / Apartments – These are easier to get. They are also very good (sometimes!!) You cannot live anywhere. You must live in the building you apply for.

Myths About Section 8

🌸 Some people don’t want to be on Section 8 because they think they will be forced to live somewhere unsafe or unclean. NOT TRUE. If you do enough research and leg work (and you are willing to relocate if needed) it is possible to find very nice, clean, comfortable, safe, disability accessible and super affordable housing through Section 8.

🌸 Other people become convinced that it is impossible to get on Section 8 or find affordable housing and it will take ten or more years. Also NOT TRUE. Many people look for Section 8 by calling a few housing authorities, getting told the waiting list is closed indefinitely, and then giving up. Don’t do this!! You will never get on Section 8 this way. Instead see links below for how to actually get on Section 8.

Cool Benefits of Housing Vouchers

Section 8 vouchers are very different from other housing programs. If you are on vouchers, you do not have to live in a particular building. You can live wherever you want! (though you have to convince the landlord to accept your housing voucher).

Housing Vouchers can also be a unique opportunity for people with Environmental Illness, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, or mold-related illnesses. Unlike other housing programs, vouchers will allow you to make your own arrangements for housing, so you have more opportunities to find safe housing. It is not always easy to find a landlord who will accept a voucher, but if you are willing to be persistent, you may be able to create an opportunity for yourself.

Section 8 is designed for low-income individuals and families. You do not need to be disabled. However, some areas have special Section 8 housing vouchers just for people with disabilities.

How to Apply

Section 8 is not easy to get into, but if you are able to be persistent, it is very possible.

Learn How and Where to Apply for Section 8 (Even When the Waiting Lists are Closed)

Learn How to Use the HUD Map to find Housing

Learn About Other Housing Programs (besides Section 8)

What You Need to Know

What is Section 8 Housing like? How many bedrooms? Can you have pets? What will the rent be?

Learn How to Calculate Rent in Section 8

Frequently Asked Questions about Section 8 and HUD

Camellia’s Story

Camellia has been through a long Section 8 odyssey spanning two different states. She learned a whole lot along the way and I bet you don’t know all, most (or maybe even any) of it. But now you will. Camellia learned the hard way and she is sharing everything she found out, so you can learn the easy way!

Read Camellia’s story

Learn everything Camellia learned about Section 8

Dandelion’s Story

Dandelion was told it would take ten years to get into Section 8. Not true. She got in in four months. Here’s how she did it.

Dandelion Gets Nice, Affordable Housing QUICKLY

Learn More

Housing Tips For Spoonies



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