You just got approved for your Section 8 voucher, so you can finally start paying less for rent. What’s next? We’ll break that down with some simple tips worth remembering.

If you need help right away, this relief program will direct deposit a short term loan into your bank account. Review the terms of this funding closely before accepting these funds.

If you feel like your landlord has a hold on the majority of your monthly income, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s not uncommon for someone to pay over half of their income towards the rent. What can this result in? Very little savings, which makes it almost impossible to build an emergency fund, pay down debt, etc.

With Section 8, you’re limited as to how much rent comes out of your own pocket. By paying only 30 percent of your income to your landlord, for instance, you have much more room to do what you want with your money. And this financial freedom is why Section 8 is so popular.

If you haven’t already, you can begin the Section 8 application process by clicking here and contacting your PHA (Public Housing Agency). Once you apply and are deemed eligible for Section 8, you will be placed on a waiting list. Once your spot comes up, you’ll receive a Housing Choice Voucher. Here are some tips on how to use it:

Using Your Voucher

It’s essential to know that your Housing Choice Voucher comes with strings attached. It’s an agreement between you, the tenant, and the PHA. What strings are attached? Rules that you’ll have to follow to maintain Section 8 eligibility. Follow them, and you could get as much as 70 percent of your rent covered by the voucher.

Before you can follow any rules, you’ll first need to find a suitable home. Your PHA will let you know how much time you have to complete this task. If you fail to do so in time, you could lose your voucher, which will be handed off to someone else.

If that happens due to not acting quickly enough, you’ll need to re-apply for the waiting list, which will delay moving into your new home. Luckily, you can prevent this by requesting an extension from your PHA, but it must be done before your voucher officially expires. Otherwise, it’ll be too late.

As for where you can use your voucher, the geographic location will be defined by your PHA.

Within that location, you can choose between single-family homes, apartments, and townhomes, as long as they meet Section 8 standards. The home will need to be affordable according to the rest of the market, and it will also need to pass an inspection to show that it is safe and suitable for living.

Once your initial lease is finished, you can then transfer your Section 8 voucher to another location. So, if you need to move for work, school, or some other reason, know that you can take that voucher with you, provided you abide by Section 8 rules.

It’s also possible to use a Housing Choice Voucher in your current home. “Leasing in place” is allowed as long as the home passes Section 8 approval.

While your Section 8 voucher will pay a portion of your rent, don’t expect it to cover any application fees from landlords or security deposits. You will have to pay those on your own.


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