Affordable Housing Online is monitoring the federal government's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. As of March 13, 2020, Public Housing Agencies across the nation are closing their doors to the public. Most offices are still running and will communicate by phone, email, or mail. Some offices have drop boxes installed outside, so documents can still be hand-delivered. Visit the housing authority's website for the latest on its current operations, if one is available. If there is no information online, contact the housing authority directly. Due to a high volume of calls and modified office hours in most areas, expect a long wait time (days or weeks) for a response. To find your local PHA's contact info, browse by state here.

An extensive list of coronavirus resources for low-income households can be found here.

How Do I Find an Available Section 202 Apartment?

  1. Contact the community through Affordable Housing Online.
  2. Obtain the application.
  3. Complete the application.
  4. Submit the application.

Step 1: Contact the community through Affordable Housing Online.

The pages for many communities listed on Affordable Housing Online offer a way to directly contact a representative for more information. You may call the toll free phone number provided, or click the button to send an email. If these contact methods are not available on the community’s page, visit the property for more information.

Step 2: Obtain the application.

The property management company or landlord will require you to complete an application. Applications are usually available online, by phone or in the office. The application must be obtained per the property management company or landlord’s instructions. The only exception to this rule is if applicants cannot complete an application on their own and require reasonable accommodation to complete it because of age, disability or another reason allowed by the housing office. Besides a reasonable accommodation request, if applicants cannot complete the application on their own, they may have another person complete the application on their behalf.

Applicants may have to pay an application fee. While it is against HUD policy to charge for a Section 8 Voucher or Public Housing application, that is not the case for this program.

Online applications may require the applicant to create a free account through an online portal, and/or have a valid email address. If you do not have an email address, you can create one for free through providers such as Google. It is important to keep online account login information in a safe, easy to access place. If the application is online, and an applicant does not have access to the Internet, they can use a friend or family member's computer/device, or one at a local library.

Step 3: Complete the application.

Some applications are only one page, while others have multiple pages. Generally, most applications require the name, date of birth, Social Security Number, and net income of all household members. However, employment income earned by household members younger than 18 years old is not included. Other information that is usually required includes the applicant’s mailing and/or email address, the applicant’s phone number, housing history, criminal history, and confirmation of preferences (if applicable).

Complete the application per the property management company or landlord’s instructions. They may require the entire application or specific sections to be filled out, or it will be rejected. Some will return the application and require you to complete the missing information, but others will simply terminate the application.

Step 4: Submit the application.

The application must be submitted per the property management company or landlord’s instructions, or it will be disqualified. For example, if the application can only be submitted online, paper applications will be rejected. Or, if the application can only be submitted in person, mailed applications will be rejected. The only exception to this rule is through a reasonable accommodation request, as noted above.

In most cases, multiple application submissions from the same household will be rejected.