How to get section 8 immediately? The ultimate guide!

Top tips on how to get section 8 immediately?

Contact the local Public Housing Authority (PHA):

  • Visit the HUD website or call HUD’s customer service line at 1-800-CALL-HUD (1-800-225-5483) to find your local PHA.
  • Inquire about the PHA’s waiting list and any special programs or preferences that may apply to you.

Gather all of the required documentation:

  • Collect proof of income, assets, and household size.
  • Prepare additional documentation if you have a disability or if you are a victim of domestic violence.

Apply during the open waitlist period:

  • Be aware of when the waitlist for housing vouchers opens in your area.
  • Ensure your application is submitted during this period.

Prioritize emergency situations:

  • Understand the priority system in place for applications, often based on a point scale.
  • If facing emergency housing needs, inquire about immediate Section 8 assistance.

Stay organized, informed, and proactive:

  • Continuously follow up with your local PHA.
  • Update your application as needed, especially regarding changes in income or household size.

Additional Tips for Obtaining Section 8 Assistance Quickly:

  • Update your application regularly: Follow your PHA’s guidelines for updating your application, typically every 6 or 12 months.
  • Follow up with your PHA regularly: Check on your application status by contacting your PHA representative.
  • Apply for emergency Section 8: Explore emergency Section 8 programs if you’re facing imminent homelessness.
  • Apply for special preference programs: Check if you qualify for special preference programs, such as those for veterans, people with disabilities, or victims of domestic violence.
  • Work with a housing counselor: Seek assistance from a housing counselor to understand the Section 8 application process and gather the necessary documentation. You can find one in your area by visiting the HUD website.

Special programs by HUD that can help you get Section 8 faster

HUD Special Programs for Section 8 Assistance:

Family Unification Program (FUP):

  • This program provides housing vouchers to families facing a separation of children from their families due to inadequate housing. Its aim is to reunite families and prevent children from entering foster care.

Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH):

  • VASH is a collaborative program between HUD and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that offers rental assistance to homeless veterans and their families.

Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program:

  • Designed for non-elderly individuals with disabilities, this program provides rental assistance to help them live independently in the community.

Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP):

  • DHAP offers temporary rental assistance and case management services to disaster survivors who have been displaced from their homes due to a presidentially declared disaster.

Moving to Work (MTW) Demonstration Program:

  • MTW allows certain Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to develop and test innovative, locally designed strategies that aim to use federal funds more efficiently. These strategies help families achieve self-sufficiency and increase housing choices for low-income families.

It’s important to note that eligibility requirements for these programs may vary, and their availability may depend on your location. For more information and details on how to apply for these programs, it’s recommended to contact your local PHA. They can provide specific information about program availability and eligibility criteria in your area.

Requirements for HUD special programs that can help you get Section 8 faster

1. Income Level:

  • You must meet specific income requirements determined by HUD. These income limits are set annually, taking into account family size and the median income in your area.

2. Family Status:

  • Section 8 is intended to assist low-income families, disabled individuals, and the elderly in affording housing. Eligible participants include single persons who are elderly, disabled, or displaced by a natural disaster.

3. Citizenship Status:

  • To be eligible for Section 8, you need to be a U.S. citizen or have eligible immigration status.

4. Student Status:

  • Generally, full-time students are not eligible for Section 8, unless they meet certain exceptions. These exceptions may apply to single parents, displaced homemakers, or individuals with disabilities.

5. Disability Status:

  • Certain HUD special programs, like the Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program, provide rental assistance to non-elderly persons with disabilities. To be eligible for these programs, you must have a disability that meets specific criteria.

6. Emergency Situations:

  • In emergency situations, where a family is facing homelessness or an urgent housing need, priority may be given to those requiring immediate housing assistance.

What documents are required to apply for section 8?

When applying for Section 8 or HUD special programs, you will be required to provide documentation to prove your eligibility. The specific documents needed can vary based on the program and location, but here are common documents that may be required:

1. Proof of Identity:

  • Government-issued photo ID for all adult household members, such as a driver’s license or passport.

2. Proof of Income:

  • Documentation of all sources of income for all household members, including:
    • Pay stubs
    • Tax returns
    • Bank statements
    • Social Security Verification Letter
    • Proof of Benefits

3. Proof of Residency:

  • Documentation showing your current address, which may include:
    • Utility bills
    • Lease agreement

4. Proof of Citizenship or Eligible Immigration Status:

  • Documentation confirming your citizenship status or eligible immigration status.

5. Proof of Family Composition:

  • Documentation illustrating the composition of your household, such as:
    • Birth certificates
    • Marriage certificates
    • Adoption papers

6. Other Documents:

  • Depending on the specific program and location, you may need to provide additional documentation, such as:
    • Proof of disability status
    • Proof of an emergency situation

It’s crucial to check with your local Public Housing Authority (PHA) or the program administrator for the precise list of required documents for your application. They can provide detailed guidance on what you need to submit to demonstrate your eligibility for Section 8 or a HUD special program in your area.


In conclusion, securing Section 8 assistance swiftly involves a strategic approach. Initiating contact with the local Public Housing Authority (PHA), gathering necessary documentation, and staying informed about open waitlist periods are crucial steps. Prioritizing emergency situations and exploring special programs by HUD can expedite the process. Meeting eligibility criteria, including income, family status, and citizenship, is essential. Providing the required documents, such as proof of identity and income, is paramount. By following these guidelines, applicants can enhance their chances of obtaining Section 8 assistance promptly and accessing the support they need.

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