Eligibility for Section 8 in Pennsylvania

Section 8 eligibility in Pennsylvania is based upon several sets of guidelines that may depend on the low income housing program through which a petitioner submits an application. In PA, Section 8 eligibility guidelines must be met for participation in the project-based housing program and the tenant-based housing program. These voucher systems allow eligible tenants to pay a reduced cost for housing. Section 8 eligibility for tenant-based housing as well as project-based housing is based on guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and administered by the local housing agency in each Pennsylvania county. To learn more about Section 8 eligibility in PA, please refer to the topics below:

  • In terms of income, do I qualify for Section 8 housing in Pennsylvania?
  • Aside from income, what are the requirements for Section 8 in Pennsylvania?
  • What do I need to apply for Section 8 in Pennsylvania?

In terms of income, do I qualify for Section 8 housing in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania Section 8 eligibility rules for income are straightforward, focusing on two primary areas. The first area is the size of the family, and the second is the total household income. Section 8 applications will take the information provided and compare the total household income to the total median income for the neighborhood where the applicant resides.

What are the qualifications for low income housing in PA in terms of income? Typically, in order to meet Pennsylvania Section 8 eligibility guidelines, the applicant must have an income below 80 percent of the median income of the area. Section 8 eligibility for some counties in PA may have a different rule, requiring 30-50 percent of median income for the applicant. The housing petitioner can find out the median salary for his or her county. This information for PA Section 8 eligibility can be located online. Pennsylvania Section 8 eligibility candidates should have documentation for their finances. This includes recent tax returns, pay stubs and bank statements. Section 8 eligibility applicants who are also receiving other forms of federal aid should bring documentation for that as well.

Aside from income, what are the requirements for Section 8 in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania Section 8 eligibility guidelines also stipulate that the applicant cannot have a serious criminal record and must not have been in trouble with the law for at least five years. Section 8 eligibility rules for criminal records also apply to the members of the applicant's household. Section 8 eligibility also requires that the applicant to be a legal U.S. citizen. However, this citizenship requirement will not necessarily apply to the members of the household.

Meeting all the Section 8 eligibility requirements does not mean that a candidate can immediately start collecting housing vouchers. The state of Pennsylvania gets thousands of applicants each year that meet Section 8 eligibility standards, and there are only so many vouchers that can be handed out at any given moment. Section 8 eligibility petitioners who are accepted into the program are put onto a waiting list. The time on the waiting list varies, but it typically lasts anywhere from a few months to even a few years.

Some PA Section 8 eligibility applicants move up the list faster. The elderly, those with disabilities, homeless residents and veterans all take priority on the waiting list and will move up faster. Other Section 8 eligibility candidates are still encouraged to apply outside of these groups. The earlier that an applicant can get his or her application in, the faster he or she will move through the waiting list.

What do I need to apply for Section 8 in Pennsylvania?

If a household's income falls within the income threshold and the household meets other requirements for Section 8 eligibility in PA, then the primary applicant will need to begin gathering documentation. Section 8 eligibility applications require documentation to verify the information. Documents that are commonly used to determine Section 8 eligibility in Pennsylvania include some of the following:

  • Official birth certificates for all household members
  • Disability paperwork
  • Military paperwork
  • Social Security numbers for all household members
  • Proof of income (paystubs or tax returns)
  • Transcripts (if in school)

Each Pennsylvania county's Section 8 eligibility documentation requirements can vary, so Section 8 eligibility petitioners are urged to contact the local housing authority to verify what specifically is needed beyond the usual documentation.

On average, it takes about two weeks for the Section 8 eligibility application to go through. After a period of 15 days, applicants for Section 8 eligibility can see if their Section 8 eligibility application has been processed by checking online or by contacting a HUD agent.


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.