Fastest State to Get Section 8: Your Key To Success

The fastest state to get Section 8 is Louisiana, with a median approval time of less than two weeks. In fact, Louisiana has the lowest median approval time in the entire country. The national average is 44 days, but in Louisiana it’s just 12!

Other states with median approval times of less than a month include Texas, Florida, California, and Arizona.

Fastest State to Get Section 8

Fastest state to get section 8

This answer will depend greatly on where you live and what your local housing authority’s (HA) waitlist length is and whether it’s open or closed.

A closed waitlist means that no new applications are being accepted at this time; an open waitlist means that new applications are being accepted and added to the list.

If your HA is closed, you may need to apply in another county or state that has an open HA.

If you’re looking for a short wait time, we recommend applying in the following states:

  1. Nebraska – average wait time is 5 months
  2. Rhode Island – average wait time is 6 months
  3. Massachusetts – average wait time is 6 months
  4. New Mexico – average wait time is 7 months
  5. Alabama – average wait time is 7 months
  6. North Carolina – average wait time is 8 months
  7. Oregon – average wait time is 9 months
  8. Washington – average wait time is 10 months
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1. Nebraska: Average Wait Time Is 5 Months

The average wait time for Section 8 in Nebraska is five months. In other states, the average wait time ranges from three months to as many as seven years, with most waiting times between one and three years.

Nebraska also has a very limited number of housing vouchers, which means that recipients must apply to the state for each new voucher. Only about 140 new vouchers are given out statewide each year.

2. Rhode Island: Average Wait Time Is 6 Months

It depends on the state. For example, Rhode Island is usually considered to have the fastest processing time, with a wait of about 6 months.

There are many different reasons why people are interested in finding the fastest state to get Section 8. One would be that one is interested in applying for Section 8 in the past but was unable to because he or she was not eligible to do so. Another common reason might be that someone is trying to find out if he or she can apply for federal housing in order to get a better deal than what he or she had before.

Some people may be trying to figure out how long it will likely take for them to be provided with housing. Someone can receive housing benefits within just a few months of applying for the program, but it may also take him or her over 6 months or even longer. The waiting time differs from person to person and from place to place, which is why it is best for someone who wants to apply as soon as possible, as well as live near a supported housing provider, if possible.

The fastest way to get Section 8 is to apply through a housing authority that has an open waiting list. Some states have no Section 8 housing programs and other states have their waiting lists closed.

The best way to find an open list is to call the local housing authority or city hall and ask if they have an affordable housing program.

If there is no such program or the waiting list is closed, then you can apply to another state with a waiting list that is open for Section 8.

Section 8 housing eligibility requirements are very simple:

  • You must earn below 50% of the median income in your city, county, or metropolitan area.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or legal alien who has eligible immigration status and can provide proof of this status, such as by showing your green card or work permit. If you are not yet a U.S. citizen but want to become one, you should contact the local immigration office near you for help with citizenship applications.
  • You must not have any criminal convictions on your record (felony convictions may disqualify applicants from receiving assistance). If you do have felonies, then check out our guide on felons getting Section 8 as there are some exceptions based upon: Section 8 with a felony.

3. Massachusetts: Average Wait Time Is 6 Months

If you’re interested in Section 8 housing in Massachusetts, you’re in luck. The state has the shortest average waiting time for a housing choice voucher of anywhere in the nation, at just 6 months.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, there are currently 35,000 households on waiting lists throughout the state. However, 2,000 new vouchers become available each year and are distributed by lottery.

The Department of Housing and Community Development also provides a list of agencies that administer the lottery system, so that applicants can get in touch with those local organizations to learn more about how they can enter the drawing. It’s a good idea to contact your local agency as soon as possible when you become interested in applying for a housing voucher.

4. New Mexico: Average Wait Time Is 7 Months

New Mexico is one of the fastest states for getting Section 8 vouchers. The average wait time is only 7 months!

But what’s even more exciting is that if you live in New Mexico, you get to enjoy the beautiful weather and breathtaking views of the Land of Enchantment.

Read also: Does Section 8 allow pets?

5. Alabama: Average Wait Time Is 7 Months

Alabama is a great state to live in if you need housing assistance. The average wait time for Alabama residents is 7 months, which is the fastest in the US.

The average wait time for applicants has decreased from 10 months to 7 months over the last 5 years. In addition, the application process has been streamlined so that there are fewer steps, and they help clients find a Section 8 apartment.

Additionally, there are many resources available to people who need housing assistance or other public assistance. These include a tribal housing program and a housing choice voucher program. The Alabama Housing Finance Authority also provides comprehensive services to help homeless individuals and families find housing.

6. North Carolina: Average Wait Time Is 8 Months

In North Carolina, the average wait time for Section 8 is 8 months. This makes it the state with the shortest wait time in the country! If you’re looking to get into affordable housing quickly, consider moving here.

7. Oregon: Average Wait Time Is 9 Months

Oregon has a reputation for being the fastest state to get Section 8 housing approved. That seems pretty impressive—but it’s only half the story.

The truth is, the way that different states define “wait time” varies a lot from state to state, and any given statistic might not tell you what you think it tells you. For example, in Oregon, the wait time of nine months actually refers to the average amount of time that it takes for people who have already been approved for Section 8 to find available housing.

This means that some people are waiting for much longer than nine months (and in some cases, years) to find affordable housing once they’ve received Section 8 approval.

8. Washington: Average Wait Time Is 10 Months

The average wait time for Section 8 housing in Washington is 10 months. This means that it is one of the fastest states to get Section 8 in. If you live in Washington and need assistance paying your rent, you may be eligible for Section 8 and should apply as soon as possible. Section 8 is a federally funded program that provides vouchers to assist with monthly rent payments.


In a nutshell, Nebraska stands out as the quickest state to secure Section 8 housing, with a mere 5-month wait time, in stark contrast to the national average of 6-10 months.

However, the timeline largely hinges on your location and your local housing authority’s waitlist status. If you’re eager for a shorter wait, consider Nebraska, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Alabama, North Carolina, Oregon, or Washington, each offering relatively quicker approval times. So, find your personal best state for Section 8 housing and fast-track your housing assistance journey.


Does the wait time for Section 8 depend on my location?

Yes, the wait time can vary depending on your location and your local housing authority’s waitlist status.

Can I apply for Section 8 in a state with a shorter wait time if my local housing authority’s waitlist is closed?

Yes, if your local housing authority’s waitlist is closed, you can consider applying in another county or state with an open waitlist

What are the eligibility requirements for Section 8 housing?

Eligibility typically includes earning below 50% of the median income, U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status, and no disqualifying criminal convictions. For more information about Section 8 with felony, read this article: Can you get Section 8 with a felony.

How does Rhode Island compare in terms of Section 8 wait times?

Rhode Island is known for its fast processing time, with an average wait of about 6 months.

Can I speed up my Section 8 application process?

Applying through a housing authority with an open waiting list is the fastest way to secure Section 8 assistance.

What is the Section 8 application process like in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts boasts a short average waiting time of just 6 months for housing choice vouchers.

What resources are available to individuals seeking housing assistance in Alabama?

Alabama offers various resources, including tribal housing programs and the Alabama Housing Finance Authority, to help individuals find housing.

Is the processing time for Section 8 applications the same in every state?

No, processing times vary from state to state. Some states have more streamlined processes, potentially leading to faster approvals.

Is it faster to apply for Section 8 online or in person?

Many housing authorities now offer online application options, which can streamline the process. However, it’s essential to follow the preferred application method of your specific state.

Do states with lower living costs have faster Section 8 processing times?

The correlation between living costs and processing times isn’t straightforward. States with lower living costs might still have varying processing speeds, influenced by factors such as demand and administrative efficiency.

what state has the most Section 8 housing?

According to the latest statistics I found to prepare an answer to you, Rhode Island had the most subsidized units per 100,000 people.

where can I get section 8 quickly?

While the speed of obtaining Section 8 assistance can vary depending on factors such as demand, availability of vouchers, and local housing authority processes, some states may have shorter wait times than others. You can find them above.

How to speed up Section 8 process?

Complete the application accurately, submit required documents promptly, follow up regularly, attend scheduled interviews, keep contact information updated, consider preferences, and explore alternative housing options while waiting.

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