How Do You Get Section 8 Housing in Michigan?

With the cost of living rising across the board, the need for rental assistance for low-income families is great. If you need housing assistance, rest assured that you’re not alone. Right now, 2.01 million households utilize Section 8 benefits, which directly benefits around 9 million residents.

Renters who need Michigan Section 8 housing should first check if they are eligible based on family size and household income, then contact the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) for the most up-to-date information about applying.

What are the section 8 income limits in Michigan?

To qualify for Section 8 assistance, your household must qualify under “very low-income” or “extremely low-income” according to the income limits that HUD defines. Overall, “very low” income households earn half of the median income for the area they live in.

“Extremely low” income households earn 30% of the median income for their respective area.  Currently, public housing agencies are legally required to provide 3/4 of all subsidized housing vouchers to extremely low-income people.

Here is an updated list of income limits in every county in the United States. Scroll down to page 100 and you’ll see all the cities and metro areas in Michigan and their respective eligibility lists to get a Section 8 housing choice voucher.

On top of income limits based on family size, there are other qualifiers for Section 8 in Michigan. First, at least one person in your household must be a U.S. citizen or have eligible immigration status. Second, every member of the household will undergo an eviction and criminal background check and should pass to be eligible. To learn more about eligibility, contact the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

Four section 8 qualifiers

How to Apply for Section 8 in Michigan

The first step any household should take after checking eligibility requirements is to get on a waiting list as soon as possible. Currently, the status of wait lists is always changing, so check frequently for updates. When there are openings, you can start the application process to get on a waiting list.

To start the process on getting on a waiting list, enter your application here with the MSHDA. After you turn in this pre-application, you can check your waiting list status at the Applicant Portal 24 hours after applying.

If you get on the waiting list, the program will notify you by mail when your name comes to the top of the list. Please respond to the notifications so that your name stays on the waiting list. Also, please submit any changes in address, income, and household size in writing within 10 business days. No changes can happen over the phone.

  • Disclaimer from MSHDA: “Online pre-applications are accepted at any time while a waiting list is open. After applying, you will receive a confirmation number. This confirmation number shows your pre-application has been received. Applying does not guarantee placement on a waiting list.

What if I don’t qualify for Section 8 in Michigan, or if I’m on the waiting list?

Being just above the income limit for a section 8 housing choice voucher program can be extremely frustrating. What do you do when you make too much for the Section 8 subsidy but still need help affording a home? Thankfully, there are still programs to assist you to find low income housing.

  • Check out Michigan’s homeownership assistance programs. A good place to start is with the MSHDA, which has a variety of programs that can help low-income families buy a home instead of wait for a house for rent. Your credit score must be decent to qualify for these programs.
  • Research other federal programs: There may be a chance that HUD can subsidize rent at specific apartment complexes. To find out if this is possible, search for “subsidized apartment rentals” on the HUD website.
  • Look for public housing. If you’re on the waitlist or hoping to get on the wait list, you still have options. Try exploring public housing options with MSHDA. This link also provides other valuable information about programs that can help you.
  • Search your community housing programs: There are a variety of charities and nonprofit organizations in Michigan that want to help. If you need immediate assistance, MCAH offers a variety of options. Alternatively, you can contact Community Housing Network for more information about options in your area.

Getting Section 8 in Michigan

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) aims to provide affordable housing options to households with low to extremely low income. Getting on a wait list as soon as possible speeds up the timeline to get an affordable rental unit through this program. If you have more questions about getting Section 8, contact your local public housing authority (PHA).

  • Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes only. For the most accurate and updated information about Section 8 in Michigan, please contact the MSHDA.