How to Apply for Section 8 in Tennessee


Learning how to sign up for Section 8 in Tennessee takes some time, but with some effort and persistence, applicants can receive access to affordable, quality housing. The process begins with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 8 application, which can be obtained through the local housing authority. Alternatively, the Tennessee online application for low income housing provides a convenient application option that can be accessed via computer and submitted electronically. All HUD Section 8 applications in TN require accompanying documentation that verifies the information supplied on the application. If the documentation is inaccurate or the HUD Section 8 application is incomplete, then the application stands a higher chance of being denied. Therefore, it is important to fill out the TN HUD Section 8 application completely, sign in all spaces provided and attach documentation for all members of the family. To learn more about how to sign up for Section 8 in TN, please refer to the following topics:

  • How to apply for Section 8 housing in Tennessee
  • Submitting the HUD Section 8 application in Tennessee
  • How to check status for Section 8 applications in Tennessee

How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Tennessee

Before submitting a HUD Section 8 application, TN residents can first check with the housing authorities in their area to find out if any waiting lists are currently open and accepting applications. TN HUD Section 8 applications can be submitted in any county that has an open waiting list, but the candidate must then live in that area for at least 12 months. Furthermore, residents are not limited to only submitting the pre-application in the county where they currently reside.

To register for Section 8 housing programs in Tennessee, applicants may gather all of the required documentation ahead of time. Types of required documents include:

  • Proof of income.
  • Proof of residency in the state.
  • Proof of employment (if applicable).
  • Proof of disability (paperwork).
  • Military papers.
  • School papers (if the applicant is in school).
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship.

In Tennessee, HUD Section 8 applications will ask for personal contact information as well as personal histories of all family members. While U.S. citizenship is required for the Section 8 applicant, it is not required for family members, as long as they are documented. If residents register for Section 8 housing program assistance in person at the local Tennessee housing authority, then they will need to bring the documents with them. The online application for low income housing in Tennessee will ask a series of questions, with each blank requiring an answer. If a petitioner leaves any sections blank, the Section 8 application will be rejected. Placing incorrect social security numbers, birth dates or other personal information can delay the processing of the HUD Section 8 application, and in many cases will invalidate the application outright. A HUD Section 8 application rejection can also result from the applicant making mistakes such as entering names more than once or identifying someone as a household member when in reality he or she is the head of household. If anyone in the family has a criminal background, is a registered sexual offender or has been arrested for trafficking in drugs, the entire application will be rejected. Likewise, the HUD Section 8 application will be rejected if the THDA receives a negative rental report or a background check that indicates the candidate may be a rental risk.

Submitting the HUD Section 8 Application in Tennessee

The Tennessee HUD Section 8 application can be submitted in person, online or through the mail with the appropriate documentation attached. Those who use the TN online application for low income housing must attach their documentation as a scanned copy, so having these documents scanned before submitting the application is important. Most local libraries can assist with scanning documents and saving them to a flash drive. Submitted Tennessee HUD Section 8 applications that are incomplete or inaccurate account for the most denied applications in the state. After the HUD Section 8 application is submitted, a confirmation number will be emailed to the applicant. No letter will be sent to verify a pre-application. The Tennessee Housing Development Authority will not take calls about waiting list status or pre-application processing.

How to Check Status for Section 8 Applications in Tennessee

After the TN HUD Section 8 application has been filed with the THDA, then the process of verifying the information supplied on the application begins. Recent applicants must wait at least two weeks before going to check status for Section 8 applications, as it takes a while to process and verify pre-applications. TN HUD Section 8 applications are used for over 35,000 rental units throughout the state. This does not include low income rental homes. While a candidate may have his or her HUD Section 8 application approved, the candidate will be placed on a waiting list unless there is a vacancy. Once the applicant’s name rises to the top of the list, the THDA will contact the applicant to give further instructions in regards to the vouchers. The best way to check status for Section 8 applications in TN is to do so online using the confirmation number issued upon submission.

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.