Indiana Section 8: How to Obtain Housing Benefits

In this article...
  • Discover how to obtain assistance paying housing costs with an Indiana Section 8 voucher. Understand the eligibility requirements and application process.

If you're facing financial difficulties, you might be able to find rental assistance through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). The IHDCA administers several programs to help low-income households in Indiana afford housing. The most popular is the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, more commonly known as Indiana Section 8.

What Is Indiana Section 8?

Indiana Section 8 is a voucher-based program that provides rental assistance directly to tenants. Unlike other forms of rental assistance in which the government either maintains the housing itself or provides financial incentives to landlords and communities to charge below-market rents, the Section 8 program gives tenants more control over their housing options. Once you receive your voucher, you can use it to rent the house or apartment of your choice, as long as the landlord or manager accepts Section 8.

The degree of your financial need determines the amount of your voucher. The IHCDA aims for Section 8 recipients to spend no more than 30 to 40% of their gross annual household income on rent, with the voucher covering the rest. So, if your household income is $2,000 per month, you would be expected to cover $800 per month in rent at the absolute most. If the market rent in your area is $1,200 per month, you would be eligible for a monthly voucher of $400.

How Do I Know if I'm Eligible for Section 8 in Indiana?

You are eligible for Section 8 in Indiana if your annual household income is under the limits set by the IHCDA for your household size and location within the state. You also must meet the program's other eligibility requirements. Different cities and counties in Indiana have different income limits for Section 8 since the median household income and cost of living vary throughout the state.

Income Limits

The IHCDA uses the definitions set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to determine if your household is low income, very low income or extremely low income. All three categories qualify for Indiana Section 8, but the lower your income tier, the higher your benefit.

The HUD tiers are defined as follows:

  • Low income. Less than 80% of the median income for the area.
  • Very low income. Less than 50% of the median income for the area.
  • Extremely low income. Less than 30% of the median income for the area.

The table below shows the highest annual income you can earn in different parts of the state for a single-person, two-person and four-person household based on the HUD tiers.

Metro area

Single person

Two-person household

Four-person household





Chicago Suburbs (Indiana)




Cincinnati Suburbs (Indiana)
















Fort Wayne








Louisville Suburbs (Indiana)








South Bend




Terre Haute




Other Eligibility Requirements

Even if your household meets the IHDCA's income requirements, you're not guaranteed approval. You still have to qualify based on several non-financial criteria regarding your criminal background, rental history and application. You can be turned down for Section 8 assistance if you have a criminal history (in particular, felonies or sex-related convictions), unpaid balances with previous landlords or unpaid child support or if your application for benefits is found to contain fraud or misrepresentation.

Alternatives to Section 8 in Indiana

Section 8 isn't the only type of housing assistance available in Indiana. If you don't get approved for the program — or if the waiting list in your area isn't open — you might be able to find discounted rent at a tax-credit community. These communities receive government incentives in the form of tax credits to charge below-market rent. You would still be responsible for paying rent with your own money as opposed to a voucher, but the rate would be lower than a comparable apartment or house in a non-tax-credit community.

A last resort is government housing. These are public housing communities owned and maintained by the local government. 

What Happens When I Get Approved?

Getting approved for Indiana Section 8 doesn't mean you get a voucher right away. It just gives you the ability to sign up for the waiting list with your area's public housing authority (PHA). Each PHA runs its waiting list a little differently. Some operate on a first-come-first-served basis, where you get off the waiting list in the order you got on it. Others use a lottery system to determine waiting list eligibility and position. Complicating things further, not all PHAs in Indiana keep their Section 8 waiting lists open year-round. Some open and close it based on supply and demand.

After you get approved for Section 8, you should first contact your local PHA. You can find their contact information on the HUD website. They will let you know if the waiting list is open and how to sign up. They will also be able to answer any other questions you have about the specific process for your city or county. Once you get off the waiting list and have your voucher in hand, you can look for a place to rent.

How Do I Find a Place to Live Once I Have a Voucher?

When you find a property you'd like to rent using your Indiana Section 8 voucher, you must contact your local PHA, which will verify that the property is up to HUD standards. This might require them to conduct an inspection. In addition, the landlord or property manager must agree to take part in the Section 8 program. If these two conditions are met, you can use your voucher to rent the property.

Do All Rental Properties in Indiana Qualify for Section 8?

Not all rental properties in Indiana qualify for Section 8. Unlike in certain other states, Indiana landlords are not required by law to take part in the program. It is completely voluntary. If a landlord wishes to participate, they must undergo a property inspection to ensure the home meets HUD's quality standards for livability. The Indiana HUD website can save you time by helping you search only for properties that are approved for Section 8.

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