Applying for Section 8 in Union County, New Jersey

Where to Apply and Qualifications

Picture of Applying for Section 8, Union County, New Jersey
••• Applying for Section 8, Union County, New Jersey. Cornstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Section 8 is a program designed to financially assist qualified individuals in finding suitable housing. If you are trying to apply for a Section 8 voucher, you must understand the process. This includes:

  • Where to Apply
  • Requirements for Receiving Section 8
  • Finding an Apartment

Where to Apply for Section 8 in Union County

To begin the process of applying for Section 8, you must visit your local Public Housing Authority in person. The following is a list of the six Section 8 offices that are located in Union County, New Jersey.

  • Elizabeth Housing Authority
    • Housing Authority Code: NJ003
    • Address: 688 Maple Avenue; Elizabeth, NJ 07202              
    • Phone: (908) 965-2400
    • Fax: (908) 965-0026 
  • Linden Housing Authority
    • Housing Authority Code: NJ066       
    • Address: 1601 Dill Avenue; Linden, NJ 07036        
    • Phone: (908) 298-3820
    • Fax: (908) 298-6990 
  • Plainfield Housing Authority
    • Housing Authority Code: NJ039
    • Address: 510 E Front Street; Plainfield, NJ 07060              
    • Phone: (908) 769-6335
    • Fax: (908) 753-2232 
  • Rahway Housing Authority
    • Housing Authority Code: NJ032
    • Address: 165 E Grand Avenue; Rahway, NJ 07065 
    • Phone: (732) 499-0066
    • Fax: (732) 499-0070 
  • Union County Housing Authority 
    • Housing Authority Code: NJ113       
    • Address: 1 Elizabethtown Plaza; 5th Floor; Administration Building; Elizabeth, NJ 07207           
    • Phone: (908) 527-4227
    • Fax: (908) 352-3980  
  • Union Township Housing Authority
    • Housing Authority Code: NJ109
    • Address: 1976 Morris Avenue; Union, NJ 07083
    • Phone: (973) 761-0059
    • Fax: (973) 761-0086 

Qualifications to Receive Section 8

Not everyone is eligible to receive housing assistance from a Section 8 voucher. You must meet certain requirements in order to qualify for this aid. In general, there are four factors that are considered and you must meet all four to be eligible. They are,

  • That you meet HUD's definition of a family.
  • That you qualify for a voucher based on low-income status.
  • That you are a citizen of the United States or an eligible immigrant.
  • That you do not have an eviction for a drug related crime.

In addition to these four general criteria, each specific housing authority may have additional obligations that each family must meet to receive or retain a Section 8 voucher. The specific housing authority will inform you of any additional requirements they have at the time you apply for the voucher.

Finding an Apartment

Section 8 allows you to look for an apartment anywhere within the town or towns that the housing authority covers. It is your responsibility to find an apartment that accepts Section 8.

Once the landlord fills out your paperwork, a Section inspector will come out to inspect the apartment and make sure it meets Section 8's housing standards and that the rent is reasonable. Once it is approved, you can move in as soon as your lease starts. Section 8 will pay your monthly rent directly to the landlord, but you will be responsible for paying any required security deposit.

Population in Union County, New Jersey

According to the 2015 Census, the population of Union County, New Jersey was just over a half million people. While it is only the seventh most populated county in the state of New Jersey, it is a very densely populated county. According to Wikipedia, it has been ranked as the fifteenth most densely populated county in the entire United States.

When an area is densely populated, there is likely to be a greater number of multi-family properties. In this area, you will be able to find properties that are as small as two units or that are well over a hundred units. 

Largest City in Union County, New Jersey

The largest city in Union County is Elizabeth, New Jersey. Elizabeth has a population of approximately 125,000 according to the 2010 Census. 

The owner-occupied housing rate in Elizabeth is only 27 percent. This is an opportunity for property investors, because it means that the majority of the population in the town are renters. With such a high population of renters, if you are a landlord looking to buy property in New Jersey, Elizabeth may be a town to consider. 

Colleges in Union County, New Jersey

Many college students do not commute. They live off-campus and therefore, need housing. This is a great opportunity for landlords who are interested in renting to this demographic. You can often command higher rents because you can get multiple students renting out rooms in the same apartment.

There are two main colleges in Union County, they are Kean University and Union County College.

  • Kean University
    • Kean University is a public college which has approximately 13,000 undergraduate students. It is located in the towns of Union and Hillside.
  • Union County College
    • Union County College is a two-year community college. It has campuses in four different towns in the county. These towns are Cranford, Elizabeth, Plainfield and Scotch Plains.