Section 8 For Single Mothers: How To Get Affordable Housing In 3 Steps?

In my practice, I often recommend single mothers facing housing difficulties to consider the Section 8 subsidized housing program. This program is an invaluable resource for low-income families, providing rental subsidies and ensuring them stable and affordable housing. Through my experience, I’ve found that Section 8 for single mothers can be a key tool in providing housing and financial stability.

In this article, I’ll discuss various steps and resources to help you navigate the Section 8 program for single moms in their housing search.

Section 8 For Single Mothers: How To Get Affordable Housing In 3 Steps?
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Section 8 Housing Assistance for single moms

As an expert in housing assistance programs, I would strongly recommend the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program as a critical resource for single mothers and single parents facing low incomes and difficult living conditions. Every mother wants her child to have comfortable living conditions, pursue hobbies, and excel in school.

This is why the Housing Choice Voucher Program plays a crucial role in providing safe and affordable housing options for single mothers nationwide. Drawing upon my extensive knowledge of housing initiatives, I confidently assert that Section 8 provides substantial support by subsidizing rents for single mothers, thus enabling them to secure suitable housing in the private rental market.

Section 8 Housing Challenges Faced by Solo Moms

I’d like you to consider understanding that solving the problems faced by single parents isn’t simple; it’s the primary task for achieving the well-being of both the child and the parent.

I’d like to discuss some of the most common issues that I’ve encountered in my practice to prepare you for similar challenges.

  1. It is important that you understand that if your child goes to school or kindergarten in one area, then there may not always be affordable housing under Section 8 for single mothers. In some areas, I note a shortage of landlords, and it is important to be prepared for this.
  2. Since the demand for help is quite high, the waiting lists are often simply huge. If you expect to receive housing immediately, that’s not the case. Therefore, unfortunately, single mothers often find themselves in a very terrible situation, close to the risk of homelessness. I advise you to look through your options and get on the waiting list for subsidized housing in advance.
  3. It is important to understand that Section 8 for single mothers does not cover all costs. And Low-Income Solo Moms are left with the costs of part of the rent, utilities, and transportation. This also leads to depleted budgets and challenges in maintaining stable housing.
  4. Receiving Government subsidies and financial assistance under Section 8 does not cover the costs of healthcare and child care. In addition, the availability of establishments varies depending on the location of the affordable housing. Therefore, it is important for a single mother in section 8 to independently analyze all available resources in the immediate vicinity to develop the child and ensure his prosperity.
  5. The worst thing in Section 8 for single mothers for me is stigma and discrimination. Because single mothers, especially those from marginalized communities, can often face stigma and discrimination when seeking housing through both the Section 8 program and the private rental market.

    Section 8 homeowners are not particularly keen on renting out the characteristics of a single mother’s social life. Therefore, I recommend taking care of your credit history, trying to look for reliable sources of income, and the opportunity for your child to attend educational institutions.
  6. Well, where would we be without bureaucracy? In this case, during the Section 8 application process, single mothers with children may face completely unpredictable and different reasons, and here it depends on the regional HUD or PHA and often assistance from human rights organizations or social service agencies.

By removing these barriers, I can ensure that Section 8 single mothers have equal access to safe, stable, and affordable housing.

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Eligibility Criteria for Section 8 Assistance For Single Moms

Families with children may be eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, commonly known as Section 8. This program, administered by the local housing authorities, provides housing assistance payments to qualifying families. Eligibility is determined based on factors such as income, family size, and citizenship status.

Eligibility criteria for Section 8 assistance for single mothers generally include:

  • Income level is the first criterion I would like to highlight because single mothers must meet the income requirements set by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Generally, women who earn less than 50% of the median income in their area are eligible for Section 8 assistance.
  • Citizenship or Qualifying Immigration Status. Single mother and child must be a U.S. Citizen or qualifying immigration status.
  • Family Status. Single mothers with dependent children are generally eligible for Section 8 assistance. The program gives priority to families with children, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
  • Background Check. A woman applying for assistance as a single mom must undergo a background check, which may include criminal and rental history.
  • Compliance with Program Requirements. Section 8 participants must comply with program rules and regulations, including attending required meetings and maintaining rental premises in good repair.

But as I said, due to high demand, single mothers may have to join wait lists administered by local public housing authorities (PHAs) to receive Section 8 assistance. Wait times may vary depending on factors such as location and availability of financing.

Single mothers interested in Section 8 assistance need to contact their local PHA to learn about specific requirements and application procedures, as they may vary by location. Additionally, seeking assistance from organizations or agencies that specialize in housing assistance can provide valuable guidance throughout the application process.

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Read also: How Long Can Someone Stay With You On Section 8?

How Single Mother Can Apply for Section 8 Housing Vouchers?

Now, I’d like to discuss how a single mother can properly apply for Section 8 housing vouchers. To do this, she needs to follow these general steps:

  1. The first step is to find the local public housing agency (PHA) that administers the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. An online search for your location or your local U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) can help you do this.
  2. Next, carefully review all eligibility criteria and assess whether you qualify. As a reminder, it is important to review income restrictions, marital status, and citizenship or immigration status.
  3. Now you can fill out and submit the application. You can obtain a Section 8 single mother application form from your local PHA or download it online. Once you have filled out all the required information, you can submit it to your local PHA. The PHA will then review your application and you may be invited to an interview to obtain more information.

If you meet all the criteria, you will be added to the waiting list and once it is your turn, you will be able to receive a voucher for affordable housing.

Once you receive your voucher, you can begin searching for a suitable rental apartment that meets the Section 8 program’s requirements for rent limits, size, and quality standards. You can choose any rental apartment on the private market that accepts Section 8 vouchers.

Now it’s time to sign the lease agreement with the landlord. The lease must comply with Section 8 program requirements and include voucher subsidy provisions. Once the lease is signed and approved by the PHA, you can move into your rental apartment and begin receiving Section 8 assistance to cover your rent payments. Congratulations, you have come a truly difficult path.

I would like to emphasize the importance of staying in touch with your local PHA throughout the application process and notify them of any changes in your circumstances, such as changes in income or household composition. Additionally, seeking help from housing counselors or advocacy organizations can provide valuable support and guidance throughout the application process.

Pros&cons of Section 8 for Single Mothers

You must understand that Section 8 for single mothers can have benefits and drawbacks. And I would like to show you each of them.


  • Section 8 helps single mothers afford safe and decent housing that they might not otherwise be able to afford on their own.
  • Section 8 subsidies help alleviate the financial burden of rent, allowing single mothers to allocate more of their income toward other essential needs such as food, healthcare, and education for their children.
  • Section 8 vouchers enable single mothers to access rental units in neighborhoods with better schools, amenities, and lower crime rates, providing a safer environment for their children.
  • With Section 8 assistance, single mothers can have more stability in their housing situation, reducing the risk of homelessness or frequent moves.
  • Some Section 8 programs offer supportive services such as counseling, job training, childcare assistance, and access to community resources, which can help single mothers improve their financial stability and overall well-being.


  • Section 8 funding levels can fluctuate depending on government budgets and policies, leading to uncertainty for single mothers relying on this assistance.
  • Section 8 assistance is tied to specific housing agencies and their jurisdictional boundaries, which may limit single mothers’ ability to relocate for employment, education, or family support. This can pose challenges for those seeking better opportunities in different areas, as they may be unable to access Section 8 assistance outside their designated region.
  • Some Section 8 programs may impose work requirements or time limits on recipients, mandating that single mothers either maintain employment or participate in job training or educational programs to remain eligible for assistance.
  • Although Section 8 housing is subject to inspection to ensure compliance with health and safety standards, some units may still have issues such as pests, mold, or structural deficiencies.
  • Section 8 tenants may have limited control over their housing situation, as landlords ultimately have the authority to decide whether to renew leases, terminate tenancies, or make changes to rental agreements.

Common Misconceptions about Section 8 Assistance For Single mothers

Of course, in my practice, I have encountered some misconceptions about Section 8 assistance specifically for single mothers. Now I will share the most common of them.

MisconceptionMy vision
Single mothers in Section 8 are lazy. During debates on this issue, opponents argue that single mothers receiving Section 8 assistance are not interested in working or improving their financial situation.But I believe many Section 8 single mothers work hard to support their families, but may still need help due to low wages, lack of affordable child care, or other financial problems. I have examples of such women, which I will share shortly.
Another misconception I think is that Section 8 encourages single motherhood. Some people believe that Section 8 assistance encourages single motherhood by providing housing support to unwed women with children.But this is a terrible statement in my opinion, since most single mothers included in Section 8 do not intentionally choose single parenthood to access benefits. And more often than not, they face circumstances such as divorce, separation, or widowhood that lead to single-parent families.
Recently, someone from a specific organization told me that all single mothers receiving Section 8 assistance are unemployed.But the reality is that many single Section 8 mothers work, and their income simply isn’t enough to cover the high cost of housing, especially in urban areas with an expensive rental market.
I have absolutely no understanding of those who say that Section 8 housing is only for “deserving” single mothers. Some people mistakenly believe that Section 8 housing should only be available to single mothers who meet certain criteria or demonstrate a special level of need.However, Section 8 assistance is designed to help low-income individuals and families afford safe and decent housing, regardless of their circumstances or background. All eligible single mothers are eligible to apply and receive assistance if they meet program requirements.
Section 8 perpetuates addiction. There is a misconception that Section 8 assistance promotes dependency and dependency on government support among single mothers.I can say that I know of many examples of Section 8 single mothers pursuing self-sufficiency through education, job training, and employment opportunities while receiving housing support.
And sometimes single mothers themselves think that Section 8 housing is of poor quality or located in undesirable areas.In fact, Section 8 housing can vary greatly in quality and location, just like any other rental housing. Although there may be substandard housing in the Section 8 program, participants have the opportunity to choose housing that meets their needs and preferences, including apartments in well-maintained buildings and safe neighborhoods.

Success Stories: Real-life Experiences of Single Mothers with Section 8

Here are a few success stories that I know of personally that reflect the real-life experiences of single mothers who have benefited from Section 8 assistance:


I met Samantha 2 years ago. She was a fragile and sad single mother of two small children. Her relationship was so terrible that, having found the strength in herself and cut this knot, she believed that no one needed her anymore. We worked with her to find good housing that would help her children live in comfortable conditions and help her develop.

After all, I believe that even having three children is not a hindrance to this, but here there are still only two. After our long conversations with her, I saw more determination in her eyes and we began to act. Samantha applied for Section 8 assistance through her local public housing authority (PHA).

She had to wait several months. And after a month and a half, I understood that it was becoming more and more difficult for her, but I assured her that everything would work out. Finally, Samantha received notification that she had been approved for a Section 8 voucher. With the help of her PHA caseworker, she began searching for suitable housing in safe neighborhoods with access to schools and community resources.

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Samantha found a modest apartment that suited her family’s needs. And now, thanks to a Section 8 voucher, even such a modest apartment has become more affordable for her. Now I saw Samantha perk up and be able to focus on rebuilding her life. She enrolled in job training programs, accessed counseling services for herself and her children, and connected with local support networks for single mothers.

Over time, Samantha found a stable job and was able to increase her income. This allowed her to refuse government assistance and support her family on her own. Just recently I wrote to her and she replied that she remembered her journey with gratitude for her support. For her, Section 8 became a real lifeline during a difficult period in her life.


Another bright woman who is one of the first to emerge in my memory is Maria. Now she is already a single mother of three children, and also faced financial difficulties. But in her case, it all happened after losing her job due to the closure of the company.

With limited savings and mounting bills, she struggled to pay rent and feared eviction. Recognizing the need for help, Maria applied for Section 8 housing vouchers to help stabilize her family’s housing situation.

Despite setbacks and challenges throughout the application process, Maria remained persistent and proactive in advocating for her family’s needs. She attended housing workshops, sought advice from local nonprofits and reached out to her elected representatives for support.

After months on the waiting list, Maria received notification that she had been issued a Section 8 voucher. With the support of her social worker, she rented an apartment in a safe area with access to schools and public transportation.

With the financial assistance provided by Section 8 assistance, Maria was able to focus on rebuilding her career and securing stable employment. She enrolled in job training programs, updated her resume and contacted local employers to explore job opportunities.

Section 8 For Single Mothers
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Over time, Maria’s persistence paid off and she obtained a permanent job with benefits, allowing her to support her family without relying on government assistance. Today, Maria looks back on her journey with pride, grateful for the support she received through Section 8, which helped her overcome adversity and achieve self-sufficiency for herself and her children.


What is Section 8 housing assistance, and how does it help single mothers?

Section 8, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, is a federal housing assistance program designed to help low-income individuals and families, including single mothers, afford safe and decent housing. It provides rental subsidies that cover a portion of the rent, with recipients responsible for paying the remainder.

Am I eligible for Section 8 assistance as a single mother?

Eligibility for Section 8 is based on income level, household size, and other factors. Single mothers with low incomes who meet the program’s eligibility criteria may qualify for assistance. However, eligibility requirements may vary depending on the specific guidelines set by the local Public Housing Authority (PHA) administering the program in your area.

How do I apply for Section 8 housing assistance as a single mother?

To apply for Section 8 for single mothers, you will need to contact your local PHA or visit their website to obtain an application. You may need to provide documentation such as proof of income, identification, and household composition. The application process can vary by PHA, so it’s essential to follow their specific instructions and deadlines.

Is there a waiting list for Section 8 assistance, and how long does it take to receive a voucher?

Yes, there is often a waiting list for Section 8 assistance due to high demand and limited funding. The length of the waiting list can vary depending on factors such as local housing market conditions and the availability of vouchers. It’s not uncommon for single mothers to wait several months or even years before receiving a voucher.

Can I choose any rental unit with a Section 8 voucher, and are there any restrictions?

Section 8 recipients have the flexibility to choose any rental unit that meets program requirements, including single-family homes, apartments, and townhouses. However, the rental unit must meet health and safety standards set by the PHA, and the rent must be reasonable compared to similar units in the area. Additionally, some landlords may choose not to accept Section 8 vouchers, limiting housing options.

How much rent will I be responsible for with a Section 8 voucher?

The amount of rent you will pay with a Section 8 voucher is based on your income and the rental unit’s rent. Generally, Section 8 recipients are required to contribute a portion of their income toward rent, typically around 30% to 40%, with the voucher covering the rest up to a certain limit set by the PHA.

Can I lose my Section 8 assistance if my income increases or my family situation changes?

Your Section 8 assistance may be adjusted if your income increases or your family composition changes. It’s essential to report any changes in income or household size to your PHA promptly, as failing to do so could result in overpayment or termination of assistance. However, earning more income does not necessarily mean losing assistance altogether, as your portion of the rent will adjust accordingly.

Are there any supportive services available to single mothers receiving Section 8 assistance?

Some PHAs and nonprofit organizations offer supportive services such as job training, childcare assistance, financial literacy classes, and counseling to help single mothers achieve self-sufficiency. Additionally, your PHA may be able to connect you with community resources and programs that can provide additional support tailored to your needs as a single mother.


In conclusion, Section 8 housing assistance serves as a vital lifeline for single mothers facing housing insecurity and financial hardship. Through rental subsidies and supportive services, Section 8 helps single mothers obtain safe and decent housing, providing them with stability and a foundation to rebuild their lives and support their families.

And while the application process and waitlists can be daunting, I assure you that the benefits of Section 8 assistance can be transformative, allowing single mothers to achieve education, employment, and self-sufficiency while providing a stable and supportive environment for their children to thrive.

Despite the misconceptions and challenges discussed, Section 8 for single mothers remains an essential resourceseeking to break the cycle of poverty and build a brighter future for themselves and their children.

By accessing Section 8 for single mothers and taking advantage of available support services, single mothers can overcome obstacles, overcome adversity, and achieve housing security and financial stability for themselves and their families.

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