Most Housing Authorities will automatically let you request one or two extensions. They may ask for a simple letter making the request.
After that, they may tell you that you cannot get any more extensions and that there is absolutely no way they will give you an extension under any circumstances. However, if someone in your household has a disability, this is not true.
Can I Request More Time?
🌸 If any adult or child in your family is disabled and this disability is making it more difficult for you to find housing, you can request an accommodation for additional extensions.
🌸 You do not need to be approved for disability to make this request. HUD has its own definition of disabled: Am I “Disabled”?
Why Did My Worker Say “No”?
🌸 Many housing workers are not properly trained in reasonable accommodations and do not understand how these rules work.
🌸 If your housing worker tells you that you cannot submit an accommodation request for another extension DO NOT LISTEN. THIS IS NOT TRUE.
🌸 You do not need to argue with your worker about this. Just say, “Thank you very much,” and then submit your request anyway.
How To Make the Request
🌸 Your request needs to include a form or letter filled out by you, plus a second one filled out by your provider (doctor, nurse, counselor, social worker, case worker, etc).
🌸 You can ask your Housing Authority for a copy of their Reasonable Accommodation request form, if they have one. Or you can submit letters instead.
🌸 You can find examples of letters on this page: Epic List of Reasonable Accommodation Letters (Voucher Search Time)
🌸 If at all possible, it’s very helpful if you can sit with your provider while they are filling out the form. That way you can explain what your request is and why it is needed. If you don’t sit with them, they may have no idea what you are requesting or what to write.
🌸 Important: Your request must be directly related to your disability. Forms filled out by both you and your provider must include an explanation of how this request is disability-related. Examples of Reasons Why a Person May Need a Voucher Extension
Submitting Your Request
🌸 You can bring your request in person and ask for a receipt
🌸 You can mail it in. Certified mail may be helpful.
🌸 You can scan it in and email it to your worker.
🌸 You can fax it in, ideally in some way that gives you a receipt.
🌸 Some Housing Authorities require that your doctor or provider send it in directly. If this happens, contact your doctor’s office to ask them to fax it in for you.
🌸 If you’re having problems or your paperwork gets lost, contact your HUD Regional Field Office and ask for assistance.
Did You Still Get Told “No”?
🌸 If they say “no” verbally, let them know you want a WRITTEN decision on your reasonable accommodation request.
🌸 If you get a written decision stating your reasonable accommodation has been denied, take a look here: How to Respond if Your Disability Accommodation is Denied
What Will Happen?
🌸 We’ve heard from many readers who were told more extensions were not possible. Some gave up. For those who continued to pursue it, so far 100% of the time this request has been approved. Some of our readers did have to redo their request if it was not documented correctly the first time.
🌸 Our readers report getting approval for extensions up to ten months.
Can I Request Extensions Forever?
🌸 Ten months is the longest search time we have seen so far. There is no specific cut off, but you probably cannot make this request for the rest of your life. At some point, the Housing Authority may start to have a valid reason to deny because taking a voucher out of circulation indefinitely could be seen as a fundamental alteration of their program goals.
🌸 Update: One person got voucher extensions for four years! You probably shouldn’t expect your housing program to be this generous, but it’s good to know it’s possible.
Requesting a Pause
🌸 Another option is to not request an extension, but to request to return to the top of the wait list. If you are unable to search or move at all for medical reasons, you can try making the request that your voucher be reissued when you are medically cleared to be able to move safely.
🌸 We have only heard from one person who made this request, and it was approved! Basil was bedridden and completely unable to move or search for housing. Instead of an extension, he requested to not be issued a voucher at all and to be held at the top of the wait list: Basil Gets to the Top of the Section 8 Waiting List… And Stays There
If Something Goes Terribly Wrong
🌸 If you wind up running out of time and losing your voucher, you can request that your voucher be reinstated as part of your request.
🌸 Zannetta was in a slightly different situation, but her story gives an idea of how reinstatement is possible: How I Got My Housing Voucher (Finally!)
Goes Well With:
If you are having trouble finding a landlord to accept your voucher. You might also wish to read about requesting accommodations for:
- Longer Search Time
- Higher Payment Standard
- Rent from Relative
- Problems with Background Checks
- Problems with Credit Checks
Tools for Troublemakers
- HUD Laws and Policies: Voucher Extensions
- Disability Support & Self Advocacy in HUD & Section 8 Housing
- The Sleepy Girl Affordable Housing Survival Guide
- How to Get Disability Accommodations
Thanks for Reading
🌸 Page Updated: 10/1/19
🌸 To get daily updates on helpful disability services, and low income programs, follow us on Facebook: The Sleepy Girl Guide.
🌸 Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. Please share this page with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons: