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Learn How to Apply for Section 8 in Illinois

In order to find out how to apply for Section 8 housing in Illinois, potential applicants must first learn more about the Section 8 program. This includes the eligibility requirements set forth by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the supporting documents needed. By submitting a Section 8 application, individuals and families will have access to hundreds of rental housing units that will provide safe, sanitary and affordable home opportunities. Before applicants register for the Section 8 housing program benefits, they should contact their local Public Housing Agency (PHA) to determine if they meet the initial criteria for the program. This criterion includes things such as gross income limits, citizenship status, and landlord referrals, to name a few. Understanding how to apply for housing assistance does not simply encompass how to submit an application but also details when to register for Section 8 housing program benefits during the year and tips for checking the status of an application after it is submitted.

Learn When to Submit HUD Section 8 Applications in Illinois

Some applicants assume that they can sign up for HUD housing in Illinois at any time throughout the year. However, a key part of understanding how to sign up for Section 8 in Illinois is to know  the right time to submit a Section 8 application. Oftentimes, the number of applicants who register for Section 8 housing program benefits far exceeds the program resources available, so PHA offices may open and close enrollment periods in order to limit the total applicants on the waiting list. Out of the various housing authorities in Illinois, only a fraction remain open to enrollment. The opportunity to sign up for HUD housing can change throughout the year, so it is important to visit the PHA website for more accurate enrollment dates and times. For instance, applicants who register for Section 8 housing program benefits with the Fulton County Housing office may find the wait time is up to one year and applicants will be placed on a waiting list once approved. Applicants who sign up for HUD housing who are local, elderly, disabled or working will have the chance to receive a better place on the waiting list as opposed to low-income families or individuals. It is important to note, applicants who register for Section 8 housing program benefits through an open enrollment office will not be guaranteed approval nor a speedier turnaround time. To learn what may make an applicant ineligible for housing assistance, download our guide.

Learn How to Sign up for Section 8 Benefits in Illinois

In order to grasp how to apply for housing assistance in Illinois, applicants must understand that certain PHA offices will maintain different requirements. Applicants who sign up for HUD housing should first choose the area of Illinois they want to live in and then find out the particular requirements that apply. Some PHA offices may require applicants to register for Section 8 housing program benefits in person, while other offices may have online application options. For instance, the Fulton County Housing Authority allows applicants to sign up for HUD housing through a mailed-in or hand-delivered application. Each Section 8 application submitted should also include copies of birth certificates, Social Security cards, photo IDs and proof of income for each adult household member. Applicants who register for Section 8 housing program benefits and cannot visit the PHA office in person may call the PHA office to request an application be mailed to their residence. After a Section 8 application is submitted and approved, the applicant is invited for an interview with the housing authority and provide necessary documents. These documents include but are not limited to:
  • Previous pay stubs.
  • History of prior employment.
  • Photo identification.
  • Referrals or references from previous landlords.
All adults who register for Section 8 housing program benefits will be subject to a background check as well as a credit check before being able to search housing opportunities. Find out what documents are needed for the application process by downloading our guide.

Learn How to Check the Status of Your Section 8 Application in Illinois

After figuring out how to apply for Section 8 housing in Illinois, applicants then need to check the status of their application in order to prepare for the next steps. Applicants who sign up for HUD housing can check their application status in several ways, depending on the method in which they applied. For example, applicants who were able to register for Section 8 housing program benefits online can simply log back into the dashboard and verify the status there. Applicants who submit a Section 8 application through other methods may contact the local PHA office to verify a status update. Regardless of whether or not a Section 8 application is approved, applicants will be notified via mail one way or another. If an applicant who registers for Section 8 housing program benefits in Illinois is denied, they may have the opportunity to appeal the denial or submit a request for consideration.Since information on a Section 8 application may change, such as household size or income, applicants should be aware that updating the information with the PHA office is essential. Those petitioners that sign up for HUD housing who have incorrect or misleading information provided on their application will be terminated from consideration.