Eligibility for Section 8 in Wisconsin


To answer the question “Do I qualify for Section 8 housing in Wisconsin?” an applicant must consider his or her income level, citizenship status, residency, criminal background and rental history. Wisconsin Section 8 eligibility requirements must be met at three levels: local, state, and federal. Some of the WI Section 8 eligibility qualifications depend on the local area where a housing candidate resides, and applicants may find it easier to qualify for Section 8 housing in certain areas. Wisconsin PHAs will also award higher priority to households with members who are elderly people, people with disabilities or young children. For more information on Section 8 eligibility in Wisconsin, please select from the following topics:

  • What are the requirements for Section 8 in Wisconsin?
  • What do I need to apply for Section 8 in Wisconsin?
  • Do I qualify for Section 8 housing in Wisconsin?

What are the requirements for Section 8 in Wisconsin?

One important WI Section 8 eligibility category involves the applicant’s income. Both a candidate’s household income and the area’s median income play a role in Wisconsin Section 8 eligibility. If an applicant lives in an affluent area, the maximum income for Section 8 eligibility guidelines may be higher. Generally, an applicant with an income that falls below 50 percent of the median income for an area will meet Section 8 eligibility guidelines. To check specific WI Section 8 eligibility median income levels for a specific county, housing petitioners can contact the local Public Housing Agency (PHA), which keeps Section 8 eligibility income lists for every county in Wisconsin.

“What are the qualifications for low income housing in Wisconsin aside from income?” some applicants may ask. Another requirement for Section 8 eligibility in WI pertains to residency. WI Section 8 eligibility guidelines require the candidate to not only have United States citizen or legal resident status, but also to be a resident of the state. However, only the applicant must be a resident of Wisconsin, and any other household members do not need to meet state residency standards.

The last major Wisconsin Section 8 eligibility requirement that a housing petitioner must pass is the background check. Guidelines for Section 8 eligibility in WI require the PHA to perform a background check on every applicant. WI Section 8 eligibility background checks will review the petitioner’s rental history and criminal history. Any applicant with a negative rental history may receive a Section 8 denial letter. Any history of eviction, late payments, failure to pay or damage to properties will constitute for a negative rental history. If an applicant or any household member has a criminal record, he or she must clearly indicate the record on the Section 8 application. However, Wisconsin Section 8 eligibility is not denied to everyone with criminal charges. It is up to the PHA to determine on a case-by-case basis whether past crimes warrant a Section 8 denial letter. The only two criminal classes that warrant automatic Section 8 eligibility denial letters are sexual offenders and methamphetamine manufacturers.

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

For all WI Section 8 eligibility applications, the PHA will ask for appropriate documentation. The WI Section 8 eligibility documentation will be used to verify that all of the information on the application is correct. The verification process cannot begin until the household submits all necessary documentation. If any of the documentation shows a discrepancy, then a housing petitioner will receive a Section 8 eligibility denial letter. Typically, PHAs ask for documentation including:

  • Pay stubs and tax returns (three months’ worth if applicable).
  • A listing of current debts and assets.
  • Identification for everyone living in the home.
  • A listing of any other government benefits.
  • Current transcripts (if applicable).
  • Social Security cards for everyone living in the home.
  • Proof of residency in the county (a utility bill or letter from a shelter).
  • Official birth certificates for everyone in the household.

This documentation list is only a general list. Some PHAs may require the applicant to provide additional documentation. For a full list of Section 8 eligibility documents, housing petitioners can contact the local PHA.

Do I qualify for Section 8 housing in Wisconsin?

Section 8 eligibility guidelines in Wisconsin, depending on the area, may call for additional qualifications. Applicants can ask the local PHA about WI Section 8 eligibility guidelines for a specific area. Once the candidate gathers all required documentation, he or she can compare the median income for the area to his or her household’s median income. If the applicant meets the WI Section 8 eligibility guidelines for income and all other requirements, then he or she may continue the Section 8 application process and contact the PHA for the next steps.

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.