One of the most frequent questions I hear on this site, is how to I verify my Section 8 application?
The normal application process is to go into a physical housing authority location and pick up all of the required paperwork for the initial application. There are a number of HA’s throughout the country that now make the applications available online. However, there are VERY few counties that will ACCEPT an application online. So you still have to mail in the application (or drop it off in person, which I highly recommend).
So after you send in your completed application (with accurate financial status), what do you do now? Basically, you WAIT. And I don’t mean you’re now on the waitlist. You WAIT to hear if you’ve been added to the waitlist. And for many, this can be a frustrating period. Most housing authorities do a very poor job of communicating application statuses. So how do you verify your application status? How do you find out if it’s even been received? processed? problems? waitlisted? etc.
The recommended option (of the HA’s) is to wait until you receive a letter in the mail. This letter will update you on the status of your application and if there are any issues with it. This option, as mentioned before, can take MONTHS or even YEARS to receive. A much better option is to call the housing authority directly and inquire about your application. Call once a week and speak directly to an employee at the authority. The employees there have access to the information and should be able to provide you with up to date info. If you get someone nice on the phone, make sure to get his/her name and request that employee specifically each time you call. Sometimes they can even make sure your application gets processed!
But I’ve found that the best way to find out the status is through the automated system. Many housing authorities have automated answering systems you have to navigate through before speaking to a live person. Most people simply press zero over and over until they get to someone. My suggestion: listen to all of the automated options. Many times there is an option to check on application status and the information is just as up to date and you can check it as many times as you need. If you’re calling and speaking to someone at the HA but keep getting the run-around, try calling back AFTER HOURS. Many counties turn on the automatic system only after employees leave for the day and the office shuts down.
So my advice is to use the automated system (if available) to your advantage. Have any questions? Leave a comment below!