Section 8 is a housing choice voucher program that helps people with lower incomes, the elderly, and the disabled pay for housing. Recipients of the program pay 30 percent of the household income toward rent.
Households that meet the income and immigration guidelines are eligible for Section 8. Priority is given to households with lower incomes (below 30 percent of the local median income), and some local housing authorities give priority to seniors, people with disabilities, homeless families, and/or people paying more than 50 percent of their income in rent. Most people won’t be able to get help right away and will be placed on a waiting list or must wait until the waiting list in their area opens up. See questions 6 to 8 for more information regarding the wait lists for Section 8.
Once you receive a Section 8 voucher, you can choose to use the voucher anywhere that accepts the vouchers in the area in which the program is administered. Some properties choose not to accept the vouchers. The housing authority will give you guidelines on your eligible rent amount and will require an inspection before you move in and subsidy payments can start.
Recipients of a Section 8 voucher can move easily within the jurisdiction of the housing authority in which they initially applied and received the voucher. If a household with a voucher wants or needs to move out of the jurisdiction, then they must consult the housing authority in the area in which they plan to move to verify the procedures for moving.
Yes. There are waiting lists for Section 8 in all areas of Minnesota. Some area waiting lists, including the metro area, are not open to accepting new applicants for the waitlist. To learn how to get on the waitlist in your area, click here to find the contact information for your local housing authority.
When the waitlist is open in your area, you must fill out an application and meet the eligibility requirements. Contact your local housing authority to find out if the waitlist is open and to get an application.
No, it doesn’t matter how long you have lived in Minnesota, but most local housing authorities require or give priority to people who already are living within their area limits when they apply for Section 8 or to get on the waitlist.
No, but you must meet the immigration status requirements. Some houses with members with mixed immigration statuses (some members meet the immigration status requirements and some don’t) may be eligible for prorated assistance for the eligible members. Contact your local Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) to see if you meet the requirements.
No. Section 8 is one of many assistance programs you can receive without becoming a public charge.
There are other public and private housing subsidy programs other than Section 8. To find out more about these programs visit our Find Other Help section on the Bridge to Benefits website.
Children's Defense Fund Minnesota
555 Park Street, Suite 410
St. Paul, MN 55103