Everything You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing in San Antonio

You must make less than 80% of the median household income to qualify for Section 8 housing in San Antonio and can apply online.
Written by Talullah Blanco
San Antonio families must make less than 80% of the median household income to qualify for Section 8 housing vouchers which permit the federal government to cover a portion of their rent. 
  • Section 8 is a program geared toward making low-income housing more affordable.
  • Applicants who are accepted will receive housing choice or project-based vouchers, which both come with their own requirements.
  • Many applicants can spend four to seven years on a Section 8 waitlist.
  • You can submit an initial Section 8 application for San Antonio online when the waitlist is open.

What is Section 8 housing?

Section 8 is a federal affordable housing program that gives rental assistance to low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled for them to rent safe and clean housing from private landlords.
Local public housing agencies (PHAs) receive funds from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to give Section 8 housing choice vouchers or project-based vouchers to qualifying individuals and families.
Here’s how Section 8 housing works:
  • If accepted into the program, applicants will receive housing choice vouchers or project-based vouchers.
  • The Housing Choice Voucher Program enables tenants to rent a unit of their choice as long as the property meets Section 8 standards.
  • Tenants are limited to participating properties under the Project-Based Voucher Program.
  • The size and cost of a unit you can rent are determined by your family's size and composition.
  • If you are chosen, you won't pay more than 40% of your monthly income in rent. The rest is handled by the government.

Section 8 obligations

Once the lease agreement and housing assistance contract are signed, the tenant, landlord, and housing authority all have obligations to fulfill:
Housing authority
Provide accurate and complete documentation
Screen tenants
Determine applicants’ eligibility and administer vouchers
Find suitable housing and finish all necessary paperwork before the voucher expires
Observe fair housing laws
Approve units, rental amounts, and leases
Pay rent on time and show up for all of their appointments
Finish all required repairs and maintenance
Annually inspect subsidized units
Notify the housing authority of any changes in income or family composition
Provide housing authority with documentation of any notices to tenants, including eviction notices
Ensure that tenants and landlords comply with program rules
Key Takeaway The federal government will cover 60% of qualifying families and individuals’ rent if selected for Section 8 housing, but the application process is long and intensive.

What are the requirements for Section 8 housing in San Antonio?

San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA)
is the agency that manages Section 8 housing. To qualify for Section 8 housing vouchers in San Antonio, you must meet HUD's federal requirements as well as additional screening requirements related to criminal activity.
  • You must be 18 years or older and a US citizen or documented immigrant to qualify
  • Your application may be denied if either you or a family member are engaged in drug-related criminal activity or any criminal activity that threatens the life, health, and safety of other residents
  • You must pay any money owed to SAHA and your annual income cannot exceed 80% of the median income in your county or metro area to be considered eligible
The HUD considers the following income sources when calculating income:
  • Wages
  • Business income
  • Interest
  • Welfare assistance
  • Social security benefits
  • Alimony and child support
In 2020, the median household income in San Antonio was $74,100. The precise income threshold you'll need to meet, however, is determined by the size of your family.
Affordability is key: Federal law requires SAHA to administer 75% of its vouchers to those applicants who make less than 30% of the median income amount (i.e., extremely low-income).
The table below breaks down qualifying income based on family size in San Antonio:
Family size
Extremely low income (30%)
Very low income (50%)
Low income (80%)

How to apply for Section 8 housing in San Antonio

To apply for Section 8 housing in San Antonio, you’ll complete a preliminary application
when the waitlist opens to apply for the Housing Choice Voucher Program. 
SAHA will open the waitlist and accept preliminary applications for Section 8 housing vouchers from September 1st through the 17th. 
Once you are placed on the waiting list, you can check your status
Expect to wait 4 to 7 years before you are called off the waitlist and approved for housing vouchers in San Antonio. Immediately update the
SAHA Applicant Portal
of any changes to your physical mailing or email address, family size, and place of employment or you could be removed from the waitlist. 
When you finally reach the top of the waitlist: 
  • You will be notified by mail with written instructions on how to begin the eligibility process. 
  • SAHA will screen and verify the information provided in your application for accuracy and confirm your eligibility. 
  • You’ll receive a housing voucher and Request for Tenancy Approval Form (RTA) to use when applying for housing.

How to find Section 8 housing in San Antonio

You'll have 90 days to find housing, finish the RTA, and send it to the SAHA for approval before your voucher expires. You can use
to find approved housing.
Make sure to document everything (think meetings with landlords and submitted applications) during your housing hunt. You’ll need this evidence to apply for a 30-day extension if you don’t find housing within the 90-day limit. 
Send a copy of your lease agreement and completed RTA to the SAHA for review as soon as you find a suitable unit. The housing authority will dispatch a representative to inspect the space and ensure that it meets quality housing standards.
When you move into your new home, SAHA will perform inspections annually to recertify the housing unit and ensure it’s suitable for living and continues to adhere to program standards. 
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Section 8 will pay for up to 60% of your monthly income to cover rent. The exact dollar amount will vary depending on your family size, income, and fair market rent in your area.
You can usually find 2-bedroom apartments that meet Section 8 voucher program quality standards for $1,621 in San Antonio, Texas.
While landlords are prohibited from discriminating against applicants with Section 8 vouchers and are required to accept vouchers as a source of income they are not obligated to rent to them either.
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