Section 8 is a government program that can make your rent low. Super low. If you are low-income and disabled, Section 8 can pretty much be the key to staying alive.
If you have ever tried to apply for Section 8, you may have noticed an uncanny pattern: Every single person you talk to will tell you it is impossible. You will hear a nonstop stream of all the ways you will never get it or it will never work out or how you will be living the rest of your life in a rat-infested hovel of misery.
We are here to tell you that it is possible to get nice, clean, safe, super-affordable, disability-accessible housing through Section 8. Not always easy, and not always quick (and sometimes you may need to relocate) but definitely possible!
This guide is for people who are looking for nice housing and are not easily discouraged. Or for people who are formerly discouraged, and have now decided to become plucky!
How Section 8 Works
What is Section 8? How does it work? Why do people love it so much? Why do people hate it so much?
- How Section 8 Works & What Kind of Section 8 is Best for You
- Different Types of Affordable Housing Buildings
Can affordable housing be nice? See for yourself!
- Slide Show of HUD Buildings
- Slide Show of USDA Rural Housing
- Slide Show of Low Income Tax Credit Buildings
Finding Places to Apply
If someone tells you all the waiting lists are closed, or all the waiting lists will take many years, don’t give up. Get plucky!
- How to Find Open Waiting Lists The Easy Way
- Creative Solutions When the Wait Lists are Closed
- Long, Long List of More Places You Can Call
- Super Cheap Apartments (Low or No Income)
- Moderately Cheap Apartments (Mid-Low Income)
- Can I Apply if I Live in Another State?
Contacting Places to Apply
Be patient. Be plucky. Don’t worry if the first twenty places you call are dead ends. Just keep going down the list:
- Three Magic Questions When Calling Buildings
- Script for Calling Affordable Housing Buildings
- Sample Email for Writing Affordable Housing Buildings
- Optional More Questions You Can Ask When Calling
Applying for the Places You Found
Tips for applying. How to stay out of trouble and what to do if you get into trouble anyway:
Disability accommodations that can help you while applying:
- Apply by Mail or Email
- Getting Back on Waiting List
- Deadline Extensions
- Skipping Meetings
- Requesting Additional Bedrooms
- Requesting Live-in Aides
- Requesting Assistance Animals
- Problems with Background Checks
- Problems with Credit Checks
- Moving Voucher to Your Current Area
- Epic Master List of Disability Accommodation Letters
- Dandelion Finds 30 Open Lists
- Dandelion Gets Nice Housing QUICKLY
- Zanetta Gets Back on Wait List
- Shameka Gets Back on Wait List
- Basil Stays at Top of the List
- Summer Gets a Bird and Dog
- Important Things to Do After You Get on a Wait List
- Curious How Much Rent You Will Pay?
- Curious How Much Rent The Landlord Will Receive?
- Curious How Many Bedrooms You Will Get?
Yay! You got approved. Now there is just a mere one million more little things you’ll want to know and do:
Types Of Affordable Housing
- The Low Down on Housing Choice Vouchers
- The Low Down on HUD Apartments
- The Low Down on “Elderly” and/or “Disabled” Apartments
- The Low Down on USDA Rural Housing
- The Low Down on Low Income Tax Credit Buildings
- Sweet Pea Gets Deadline Extensions
- Delphinium Gets Additional Bedrooms
- Summer Gets Her Own Bedroom
- Margaret Gets a Higher Voucher
- Chrysanthemum Gets a Higher Voucher
- Camellia Gets a Higher Voucher
- Camellia Finds A New Home with Section 8
- Everything Camelia Learned About Section 8
- Rosemary Gets an Emotional Support Animal
- Rosemary Gets Medical Expense Deductions
- Delphinium Gets a Different Parking Spot
- Disability Support and Self Advocacy in HUD Housing
- Housing Choice Voucher Friends
- More Housing for Groups People with Disabilities
- How to Get Help or File Complaints for HUD Housing Problems
- Frequently Asked Questions About Affordable Housing
- Housing Tips For Spoonies
- Section 8 Made Simple (sort of)
- Disability Accommodations for Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
- HUD policies for housing vouchers
- Public Housing Occupancy Guidebook
- Multi Family Housing Occupancy Guidebook
- Housing Voucher Forms
- Housing Vouchers Fact Sheets
🌸 Some Housing Authorities participate in a program called Moving to Work. If you are in a Moving to Work Housing Authority, your rent may be higher and some of the policies listed on this page may be different.
What Do You Think?
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🌸 Updated January 2019. If you found this page helpful, please share it with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons: