How to Apply for Section 8 in Washington D.C.


To register for Section 8 housing programs in Washington D.C., interested individuals must apply for the benefits. The Department of Housing and Urban Development provides its HUD Section 8 application at local housing authority agencies throughout the district. The online application for low income housing is also available for individuals who prefer to apply for assistance via the internet. First-time Section 8 applicants who wish to apply online are advised to fill out the HUD Section 8 applications by hand first, and then transfer the information onto the online application for low income housing platform. This ensures better accuracy as hundreds of applicants are denied each enrollment period due to small form errors. Before an applicant decides how to sign up for Section 8, they must determine whether they meet several eligibility factors. Knowledge of these factors ahead of time can save the applicant the trouble of filling out the HUD Section 8 application if they do not actually qualify.

To learn more about how to sign up for Section 8 in Washington D.C., review the following subtopics:

  • How to apply for Section 8 housing in Washington D.C.
  • How to register for Section 8 housing programs in Washington D.C.
  • How to check status for Section 8 applications in Washington D.C.

How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. residents who would like information on how to sign up for Section 8 housing can make an appointment to speak with a housing authority agent. Agents can assist first-time or returning applicants with accurately filling out the HUD Section 8 application as well as answer any questions they may have. They can also advise new applicants as to their eligibility. Important sections that will appear on the HUD Section 8 application include information pertaining to a family’s combined income, assets, debts, and how many family members under the age of 18 reside in the home. Additionally, any household that has members who are veterans, disabled, elderly, or pregnant are often given special priority.

Washington D.C. HUD Section 8 applications require that the family meet income guidelines, which means that the household, not just the applicant, must have a combined income that falls below average for the area in which they live. Those falling well below, such as 30 to 50 percent below the average, are labeled very low income and may receive priority status on the waiting list.

Applicants completing the online application for low income housing or the paper application must be legal U.S. citizens. Household members cannot include anyone who has been convicted of illegal substance distribution, is a registered sex offender, or has been convicted of a violent crime. Those with a criminal record may not necessarily be denied housing assistance, however, they must understand that their criminal background will be scrutinized.

How to Register for Section 8 Housing Programs in Washington D.C.

Applicants have several options when the time comes to register for Section 8 housing programs in D.C., which includes submitting the HUD Section 8 application by mail, via the online application for low income housing or in person at their local housing authority. If the HUD Section 8 application requires much explanation or extensive documentation, the applicant would do well to submit the application with assistance from a housing authority representative.

In Washington D.C., when an applicant registers for Section 8 housing programs, the following documents may be requested:

  • Social security cards for all family members
  • Current and past rental history
  • Personal identification for all family members
  • Proof of family income

All information gathered on the HUD Section 8 application, as well as from supplemental documents are used by the housing authority to qualify applicants for assistance. Note that different housing authorities might require additional information or documentation that may include military papers, any paperwork regarding other government aid that is currently being received (such as TANF, or SNAP), and if the primary applicant is a full time student, school transcripts. Likewise, applicants who have entered into any kind of rehabilitation program are legally required to provide relevant documentation as part of their application packet.

How to Check Status for Section 8 Applications in Washington D.C.

Submitted HUD Section 8 applications take at least two to four weeks to process, during which time the applicant’s name will not appear on the official waiting list for the area. The D.C. housing authorities receive a vast amount of submissions each time the waiting lists open. They must qualify and verify each HUD Section 8 application that is submitted, which takes time. An applicant can check status for Section 8 applications after two to four weeks has passed without notification. Applicants can do so by going online and using a client confirmation number provided by the housing authority, or submitting a written request for their waiting list status.

What is Section 8?

The Section 8 program was created by the federal government to assist low-income individuals and families with finding affordable private housing. To learn how you can become a member of this assistance program, download our helpful guide today. Beneficiaries of the program have a percentage of their rent covered by the government via housing subsidies, which are administered on a local level by public housing agencies or PHAs directly to landlords. Section 8 members are allowed to choose apartments, townhouses or even modest homes in this program, but the landlord must accept government subsidies in order for the provided housing vouchers to be used. Learn more about how you can qualify for housing assistance and discover the steps to file an application by clicking here.

How much will my housing subsidy be?

As a Section 8 beneficiary, you will pay the difference between your landlord’s rent amount and how much your housing subsidy covers. To find out how you can get a housing subsidy, download our guide now. If you are accepted into the Section 8 program, your public housing agency will calculate the maximum assistance you can receive. Your maximum housing assistance will either be the total rent of your apartment/home minus 30 percent of your adjusted monthly income or it will be the payment standard less 30 percent of your adjusted monthly income, whichever amount is lower. To find out how Section 8 can benefit you today, click here.