fastest state to get section 8

Fastest State to Get Section 8 Voucher

Are you looking for the easiest State to get section 8? In that case, Louisiana is the answer, with a median approval time of less than 14 days, the lowest median approval time in the USA, and an average of only 12 days compared to the national average of 44 days. Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas are states with median approval times of less than a month.

If you could not acquire assistance due to the long waiting list. In that case, you might go for states with the fastest process to broaden your prospects, as the time varies from State to State and person to person, so apply ASAP and, if possible, choose to live near a supported housing provider.

You can contact your local housing authorities to inquire about the eligibility criteria across the country. You can apply to another state in case of unavailability in your State. You must meet the eligibility requirements, like income below 50% of median income in the respective city, county, or area, US citizenship or eligible immigration status, no criminal convictions, etc. Exceptions can be made if the applicant is a felon. 

Factors Affecting the Waiting Time

we are still determining a definite answer as it varies from one location to another and depends significantly on the specific PHA serving in your area, not the State, as opposed to the popular opinion. Let’s explore the factors that can influence the timeline of accessing the Section 8 voucher:

Local Demand and Available Funding

If the local demand for the program assistance vouchers exceeds the available funds (which often happens), then the waiting list could be extended. And you might have to wait for years for your turn. The timeline could be a matter of demand and supply.

The PHA Administering the Program

Each local PHA had its own set of procedures and policies in place. The speed at which they process applications depends on the availability of staff and resources. Hence, P.H.A. does play a significant role in deciding the timeline.

Income and Eligibility

You have to tick the criteria boxes to move up in the waiting list, e.g., if you meet the income and eligibility criteria, your application will likely go quicker.

Preferences to Specific Groups

Most PHAs prefer vulnerable people, i.e., the elderly, disabled individuals, etc., over others. So, if you fall in the category of the specific groups, then you will be moved up on the waiting list.

Funding Availability

Federal funds’ availability directly impacts the speed at which the housing vouchers are issued, i.e., the processing time will be slow in case of a constrained budget.

List of Fastest State to Get Section 8


you should go for Louisiana, i.e., with a median approval time of less than two weeks. Louisiana also has the best average of 12 days, while the national average is 44 days.


Texas is a beautiful blend of urban and rural areas and the second-largest State in the USA. Texas is infamous for its efficient approval process, with a median approval time of less than a month. Major cities of Texas like Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston have considerably high demand for affordable housing.


Florida is the Sunshine State, known for its warm climate, breathtaking beaches, and tourism. Like Texas, Florida holds an excellent reputation for processing applications and has a median approval time of under a month. However, populated cities like Orlando, Tampa, and Miami have considerably less short waiting lists.


California, infamous for its beautiful coastline, diverse communities, and entertainment industry, has an efficient housing program despite its high housing costs. Even though areas like San Francisco and Los Angeles tend to have longer waiting lists, the State has a median approval time of less than four weeks.


Arizona is a State of vibrant cities, desert landscapes, and diverse cultures, where you can secure approval within a month. The cities of Tucson and Phoenix have active programs that allow eligible residents to get their support relatively quickly.


Even though the average wait time for Nebraska is five months, it could go up to 3 years as it only issues 140 new vouchers yearly. 


Massachusetts has the shortest average waiting time, i.e., six months. Two thousand new vouchers are issued through a yearly lottery, with 35,000 households waiting. The lottery system is administered by local agencies, which are themselves listed by The Department of Housing and Community Development.

New Mexico 

New Mexico, famous for its fantastic weather, has an average wait time of 7 months, considerably better than others.


Alabama is known for the fastest average wait time for housing assistance in the USA, with an average of 7 months for residents. Due to the streamlined application process, the wait time has been reduced from 10 to 7 months within the last five years.

 The State also offers tribal housing programs in addition to housing choice vouchers. Moreover, the  Alabama Housing Finance Authority provides comprehensive services for homeless individuals and families.

North Carolina 

North Carolina has an average of 8 months, making it an attractive option for affordable house seekers.


Oregon is infamous for getting the housing vouchers approved. However, you must know that the definition of “wait time” varies across states. The nine-month wait time means the average time it takes for approved individuals to find available housing, reflecting that it might take years for people to find affordable housing.


Washington has a wait time of 10 months, making it one of the fastest to get in Washington State Section 8

Bottom Line

Louisiana is undoubtedly the fastest State to get approval in the US and has a record median time of less than two weeks, which is way shorter than the national average of 44 days. However, some have an efficient application system and a median approval time of less than a month; these include Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California.

The actual timeline depends on many other factors like availability of funds, local demand, etc. You can reach out to your local PHA to get the latest information.


Does The Wait Time Vary from location to location?

Your location and the waitlist status of your local housing authority decide the wait time. 

Can I opt for A-State with a Shorter Wait Time when applying for a voucher If My Local Housing Authority’s Waitlist Is Closed?

If the local housing authority’s waitlist is closed, you can consider other counties or states with open waitlists to apply for assistance. 

How to Speed Up My Application Process?

One of the fastest ways to secure Section 8 housing assistance is to apply through a housing authority with an open waiting list.

What’s The Application Process Like In Massachusetts?

Massachusetts offers a short average waiting time of just six months, which is relatively a steal compared to other states.

What are available resources to those Seeking Housing Assistance In Alabama?

Alabama offers multiple sources; among one of them is the program assistance. In addition, there are tribal housing programs and the Alabama Housing Finance Authority that provide programs to help people seeking housing assistance.

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