Learn About Section 8 Housing in Pennsylvania

The PA Section 8 program, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, provides rental assistance to low income families in the private rental sector. Funded by HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) the Section 8 housing goals are to provide improved conditions for families while assisting them in obtaining low income housing, maintaining rental payments and promoting a greater freedom of choice in housing conditions. The program provides incentives to the owners of apartment complexes and private homes to ensure the continued availability of government subsidized homes. Locally, the Pennsylvania public housing authority (PHA) is responsible for qualifying applicants and disbursing the vouchers to eligible families.

Low income house rentals are listed by the PHA in each of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania, though each complex and home is privately managed. Applications should be completed within the applicant’s county. To learn more about Section 8 programs in PA, review the following:

  • Section 8 eligibility in Pennsylvania
  • How to apply for Section 8 housing in Pennsylvania
  • Information about Section 8 waiting lists in Pennsylvania
  • Section 8 denials in Pennsylvania

Learn About Section 8 Requirements in Pennsylvania

What are the qualifications for low income housing in Pennsylvania? Three criteria are used to determine Section 8 eligibility in each of the state’s counties. First, the applicant must be an American citizen, or a naturalized citizen. Secondly, the applicant must fall within a set income level in order to be considered. Generally, the applicant must make an annual salary that falls at least 30-50 percent below the median annual income of other residents in the area.

“Do I qualify for Section 8 housing in PA?” is a question that is asked frequently, and the answer is that the candidate will qualify if he or she meets the above criteria and successfully passes a background check. To qualify for low income housing the applicant and all adult members of the household must submit to a background check. Criminal activities, convictions, felonies or misdemeanors are cause for the denial of benefits.

Petitioners asking, “What do I need to apply for Section 8?” need to provide documentation for themselves and the adult members of the household regarding income, assets, government aid received, military service and citizenship. Official documents such as social security cards, passports, driver licenses, disability papers and tax returns will be necessary in the process.

What are the requirements for Section 8? In addition to the above stated conditions, applicants are expected to report all information in full, and truthfully. All documents and statements made on the application will be verified at both the local and state levels.

Learn How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Pennsylvania

An online application for low income housing is offered in some PA counties, but most petitioners will have to print out, fill out, and mail in (or hand-deliver) the application to the local housing authority, or HUD office. Applicants can learn how to sign up for Section 8 housing by asking office personnel for assistance.

The Section 8 housing application can be found online, printed out and completed, or a copy can be obtained through the local offices. The Pennsylvania HUD Section 8 application is three pages, and consists of a cover page, a pre-interview page and an application. If the PHA agent determines that the applicant might be a good candidate, he or she will be asked to come in for an interview.

To register for Section 8 housing program benefits, petitioners will need to make certain that they qualify in terms of income stipulations, citizenship and have a clean background record. After the application is submitted, it will take approximately two weeks or more to process it. Subsequently, applicants can check status for Section 8 application forms online, or by calling the office.

Learn About Section 8 Waiting Lists in Pennsylvania

The Section 8 house waiting list lets qualified applicants know whether they have been accepted into the program. The PA Section 8 housing program application waiting lists are currently closed in all 67 counties. Once they reopen, the Housing Choice Voucher Program will notify applicants through TV, radio or through the mail. Each PHA manages a low income housing waiting list via its own website which is updated as information becomes available.

When going to check waiting list status for Section 8, applicants are reminded to use their six digit number assigned to them upon enrollment. Special programs for the disabled and the elderly are currently open. “But when will the Section 8 waiting lists open for others?” The Housing Choice Voucher Program in Pennsylvania reports that the lists were shut down as of April 2013, and until such time as the supply and demand reach a tolerable level, they will not reopen.

Learn About Section 8 Denials in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Section 8 denial letters are issued to those applicants who do not meet the current criteria. Section 8 housing disqualifications can occur for many reasons, namely because income is not within the acceptable range for appointment to the program. If an applicant believes that they have been unfairly denied benefits, then there are options.

Knowing what to do if a Section 8 application was denied is contingent upon what was stated on the denial letter. The letter is required by law to list all of the reasons for the rejection of the application. This will give the applicant some grounds to file a Section 8 denial appeal, if they still feel that the disqualification is unjustified.

Still asking “What are the reasons for Section 8 denial in PA?” Aside from having too much income, an applicant can be denied benefits if the forms were filled out incorrectly. In such instances, the petitioner will need to know how to appeal Section 8 denial verdicts, since clerical errors on the applicant’s part can result in a resubmittal once the mistakes are corrected. Other reasons for rejection of the application can include a negative background check, including the discovery of criminal behavior by someone living in the household or a negative report from a previous landlord, especially in regards to delinquency or default.

Website: Local Offices.

State: Pennsylvania

Contact Information

  • Office Name/Address

    Philadelphia Regional Office

    The Wanamaker Building

    100 Penn Square East

    Philadelphia, PA


    Pittsburgh Field Office

    William Moorhead Federal Building

    1000 Liberty Avenue

    Suite 1000

    Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4004

  • Manager


    Regional Administrator


    Field Office Director

  • Phone/Fax

    (215) 656-0500


    (215) 656-3445


    (412) 644-6428


    (412) 644-6499


  • Region/Regional Office

    Region III

    Philadelphia PA

    Region III

    Philadelphia PA