How to Qualify and Apply for Section 8 Housing In Des Moines

Section 8 How to Qualify and Apply for Section 8 Housing In Des Moines

How to Qualify and Apply for Section 8 Housing In Des Moines

The city of Des Moines, Iowa is 18.1%, which means that about 1 in every 5.5 residents lives at the poverty line or lower, which qualifies for assistance, including Section 8 housing assistance. Every family has the right to find a clean, sanitary place that they can afford to live in and call home. "Home" should not be based on socioeconomic status or the amount of money that someone makes, but rather on a basic right for every person to have a safe, comfortable place that they can call home. Section 8 housing and the individual public housing agencies (PHAs) that function in the area have a duty to provide those local residents who live at 50% of the average median income or lower with a place to live and financial assistance in finding a place to call home.

However, there are oftentimes more people who need housing assistance than there are funds or units available to help the people in need. Therefore, the PHAs review all applications that they get closely and carefully. They decide who qualifies based on local requirements and who does not qualify. Then, when the units are full, they must place families on a waitlist until a unit opens up for the family to live in. Otherwise, people are free to find their own housing in the form of another apartment, condo, townhome, or house, as long as the unit meets the rental maximums set by the PHA when approving your application. Once you find the place you want to live, you send the information to the PHA, and they will pay the difference in your rent or mortgage each month to help your family stay in your home long-term.

Who Qualifies for Section 8 Housing?

It depends on where you live as to who qualifies for Section 8 housing. Different states, counties, cities, towns, and municipalities can have different requirements you must meet to qualify for Section 8 housing. You will need to understand any different or unique requirements for your area before you apply. However, the following are generally the following requirements and guidelines to qualify to get Section 8 housing assistance:

  • you must fill out all the information PHA requests on your form
  • you make 50% or less of the average median income in your area (some places will allow up to 80% of median income)
  • not had an eviction in the past three years
  • you need to be a US citizen to get Section 8 housing (or part of certain classes of immigrants)
  • agree to annual inspections of the home that you are residing in (if renting)
  • find any qualifying housing that meets the budget requirements set forth by the PHA

These requirements are the general ones set forth by most PHAs. However, there can be different requirements in certain areas that are not in place in other areas. Generally, you will usually place yourself on a waitlist until a Section 8 housing slot opens up for your family. Waits are often several months to a few years before you can get into the program with the PHA that you are applying to join.

Several factors determine whether or not you are eligible for Section 8 housing:

Income EligibilityYou are making at or below the posted poverty line in your state. You are considered at the lowest income level if your family brings in only 30 percent or less of the average income in your area. You are still considered very low income if you only bring in 50 percent of that income and low income for 80 percent.
Age EligibilityIf you are above a certain age and still not bringing in enough income, you may qualify for Section 8 housing. Depending on a fixed income, those who are 65 and older could find themselves meeting these requirements.
Disability EligibilityIf you have been deemed disabled and unable to work, you are eligible for assistance, even as the head of household.

How Do I Apply for Section 8 Housing by Myself?

If you are looking to apply for Section 8 housing, you will have to fill out the applications to do so. You will usually have to go to each individual PHA that you want to apply to and fill out an application. Most of these applications require a lot of the same information, but each one will be filled out a bit differently than the one before it. The process can leave the renter frustrated and oftentimes unsure of how to move forward.

If you are trying to figure out how to apply for Section 8 housing yourself, then you will have to follow the following steps in order to complete the application for each PHA you wish to apply to

  1. Know Your Gross Income:

You will need to know how much your monthly (and annual) gross income is in order to fill out your Section 8 housing vouchers properly and honestly. Your gross annual income will have to be low enough for you to qualify for assistance through the Section 8 housing program. You must have pay stubs and other proof of income to prove that you are not making too much to receive assistance.

  1. Find the Application:

You will have to go online and find the applications to the PHA's that you wish to apply to for assistance. Each PHA will likely have its own forms you have to fill out, which can be repetitive, and ask for most of the same information as the last ones you filled out. However, you will need to finish each application in order to qualify for the potential Section 8 housing funds that the individual PHA has to offer.

  1. Fill Out the Application:

You will need to fill out each application individually and with 100% true and factual information. If you don't provide complete and accurate information, you lessen your chance of getting accepted for the Section 8 assistance that you are seeking.

  1. Wait for a Response:

You will have to wait for the PHA to respond to your inquiry for Section 8 assistance. It might take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks in order to get a response from the PHA that you applied to. Waiting can be one of the most frustrating parts of applying for Section 8 assistance, as you can feel like waiting is pointless when you are not getting responses during the timeframe which you expect or hope for them. However, you will get a response from the PHA when they are able to review your application.

  1. Get On a Waiting List: 

You will likely have to spend several months to a few years on a waiting list in order to get your housing assistance from Section 8 housing. There are often far more people in need of assistance than there are funds to help. Once a lot opens, you can choose an appropriate home within the budget constrictions you are given to rent or purchase, and you will receive assistance from the PHA you applied to so that you can ensure your rent or mortgage is paid each month. You will have stable housing and assistance paying your rent or mortgage s long as your income remains low and you meet the PHA's qualifications.

You will have to figure out where you will find temporary housing that you can afford until you are able to get assistance from Section 8 housing. It may take a few months to a few years to find a space in the program for financial assistance, as demands are often higher than the amount of funding available.

You may find it exceptionally frustrating to try to find housing you can afford while still trying to get all of the PHA papers filled out for the Section 8 assistance that you need. Finding Section 8 housing assistance is a cumbersome and sometimes tedious process. Getting funding is frustrating, and everyone deserves a clean, sanitary living space that they can call home, no matter what their income level.

Waiting for assistance to get that is challenging, and here at DoNotPay, we want to help. That's why we will offer you help with our Section 8 application tool to make the process easier and much less frustrating than it is to do it all on your own.

Solve Your Section 8 Housing Frustrations With the Help of DoNotPay:

Instead of wasting your time filling out endless PHA applications, use the simple Section 8 application tool that is provided to you by DoNotPay. You just have to follow two basic, simple steps, and we will fill out your applications and send them to the appropriate PHA's for review to get you on your way to the Section 8 housing funding you are entitled to

  1. Answer a few questions about your income, family size, veteran/disability status, which county you hope to live in, etc.


  2. DoNotPay will find the PHA in charge of that county and contact them with all of your eligibility information to determine if you can start applying. They'll get back to you directly via email with the next steps.


You will have to provide some basic information about things like your family's gross income, how many people are in your family if you are a veteran/disabled, etc. and that information will be used to determine which PHAs you can apply to, and which ones you may use to qualify for assistance. DoNotPay will send your information and your applications to those PHAs all at once to eliminate the endless applications and paperwork you would otherwise have to go through in order to apply. If we can take some stress off of you while trying to find you affordable housing, then we have done our part to help make your life a bit easier during a stressful time.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

We are glad that you asked. DoNotPay wants to help you save money in many different aspects of your daily life. Whatever you are spending money on that you think is excessive, we are here to help you cut down on that cost in any way possible. The following are just a few ways that we have helped users save money in the past:

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