How to Apply for Delaware Section 8

The Delaware housing choice voucher program also referred to as Delaware Section 8 Program is the federal government program aimed at assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments.

Residents of the State of Delaware participating in this program are free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of Section 8 program and are not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects.

In Delaware, housing choice vouchers are administered locally by public housing agencies (PHAs). The PHAs receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the Section 8 program.

A family that is issued with a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family's present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the PHA.

Just like in all the other states, a housing subsidy in Delaware is paid to the landlord directly by the PHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program. Under certain circumstances, if authorized by the PHA, a family may use its voucher to purchase a modest home.

A family's housing needs may change over time with changes in family size, job locations, and for other reasons. The Delaware housing choice voucher program is designed to allow families to move without the loss of housing assistance. Moves are permissible as long as the family notifies the PHA ahead of time, terminates its existing lease within the lease provisions, and finds acceptable alternate housing.

In Delaware, under Section 8 program, new voucher-holders may choose a unit anywhere in the United States if the family lived in the jurisdiction of the PHA issuing the voucher when the family applied for assistance. Those new voucher-holders not living in the jurisdiction of the PHA at the time the family applied for housing assistance must initially lease a unit within that jurisdiction for the first twelve months of assistance. A family that wishes to move to another PHA's jurisdiction must consult with the PHA that currently administers its housing assistance to verify the procedures for moving.


Who can Qualify for Section 8?

In Delaware, eligibility for a housing voucher is determined by the PHA based on the total annual gross income and family size and is limited to US citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status.

  1. Participants must enroll (or be enrolled) in the moving to work program http://www.destatehousing.com/Renters/rt_mtw.php.

  2. Participants pay 30-35% of their income for rent and utilities. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development subsidizes the balance of the rent.

  3. Households whose gross incomes do not exceed 80% of the area median income may qualify for this program.

  4. Working families, elderly (62 or over) and the disabled receive preference.

  5. Applicants who reside in Kent or Sussex County have priority on the waiting list.

During the application process, the PHA will collect information on family income, assets, and family composition. The PHA will verify this information with other local agencies, your employer and bank, and will use the information to determine program eligibility and the amount of the housing assistance payment

If the PHA determines that your family is eligible, the PHA will put your name on a waiting list, unless it is able to assist you immediately. Once your name is reached on the waiting list, the PHA will contact you and issue to you a housing voucher.


How to Apply

If you live in Delaware and you are interested in applying for a voucher, contact the local PHA by visiting www.hud.gov/offices/pih/pha/contacts.. For further assistance, please contact the HUD office nearest to you www.hud.gov/local/

  1. Make sure you (the tenant) meet all tenant requirements.

  2. Call a DSHA contact to begin the application process – Public information office can be reached at 302.739.4263. Waiting list office can be reached at 302.739.6940

  3. You may download an application here https://secure.destatehousing.com/web_wlapplication.pdf or you can use Delaware State Housing Authority Online application process for assisted rental housing https://secure.destatehousing.com/index.php.

Since the demand for Section 8 housing assistance in Delaware often exceeds the limited resources available to HUD and the local housing agencies, long waiting periods are common. In fact, a PHA may close its waiting list when it has more families on the list than can be assisted in the near future.

Delaware PHAs may establish local preferences for selecting applicants from its waiting list. For example, PHAs may give a preference to a family who is (1) homeless or living in substandard housing, (2) paying more than 50% of its income for rent, or (3) involuntarily displaced. Families who qualify for any such local preferences move ahead of other families on the list who do not qualify for any preference. Each PHA has the discretion to establish local preferences to reflect the housing needs and priorities of its particular community.

Once a PHA approves an eligible family's housing unit, the family and the landlord sign a lease and, at the same time, the landlord and the PHA sign a housing assistance payments contract that runs for the same term as the lease. This means that everyone -- tenant, landlord and PHA -- has obligations and responsibilities under the voucher program.

For additional information about the voucher program, contact either the local PHA
www.hud.gov/local/ serving your area or the Office of Public Housing within your local HUD office www.hud.gov/offices/pih/pha/contacts . There may be a long wait for assistance under the housing voucher program. If the PHA also administers the public housing program, applicants for the housing choice voucher program may also ask to be placed on the waiting list for the public housing program. HUD also administers other subsidized programs and you may obtain a list of programs in your area from the Office of Housing at your local HUD office.