How To Market To Section 8 Tenants?

Friends -

I’ve got one S8 tenant, and she is working out well. So I’d like to ramp-up my advertising to this market segment. So far, I’ve got a premium ad running on ($33/month). I’ve also heard about Does anyone have any experience with that website and/or others? What else do you find that works well for finding Section 8 tenants?

Many thanks,



The listings are free, you can put up pictures and lots of detail. You can leave the ads on the site and mark them as inactive or active as they come vacant and ready to rent.



All we had to do was just ad the words “Section 8 Welcome” to our normal ads on Craigslist and/or in the paper and that was all it took. 70%-80% of the calls or emails in the first few days would be Section 8 tenants.

Good Luck,


Post Edited (04-14-11 21:23)

I have found that by and large, the section 8 tenants were the best tenants I had in terms of how they treated the property. I could not disagree more with Dale’s experience.

Here in my area of North Carolina there is a very long waiting list for section 8 (several years). I suspect that many areas are experiencing this and with the economy what it is, demand will increase for section 8 vouchers.

I find that my section 8 folks keep the homes in better shape due to the annual inspection by section 8 and the need for a letter of good standing from the landlord if/when they decide to move. If they don’t comply they stand the chance of loosing their benefits.

It is my understanding that while section 8 is a federally funded program, each state and locale have great lattitude in how the administer it so I can see how one person can have dramatically different results than another in a different location or state.


There are plenty of people who receive housing assistance who make great tenants, take care of their homes, are grateful for the help, and are working hard to become independent. There are also those who abuse the system, quit a good job when they lose 100% benefits, and have no respect for themselves or their homes. I’ve also had plenty of damage from tenants who did not receive housing assistance. They always left owing me money too. At least I got paid for the Section 8 tenants. The bottom line is that providing low-income housing is a lot of work.

I document problem tenants and send that documentation to the housing authority. The last time I did that the woman lost her benefits. I know that doesn’t put an end to social programs, but hopefully it makes room for a more deserving individual.

Renting to Section 8 tenants can be a solid component of a viable business model, regardless of your political ideology. If you’re buying low-income housing it’s just good business to rent to tenants who will pay you. If you aren’t getting paid you can’t run your business for long.

Those who see the Section 8 program as a hand-out to the tenants are looking at things from the wrong end. The fact is that low income housing is really a public good, and it is a pain in the butt to provide and, if you aren’t getting paid enough, it’s decidedly not lucrative or even sustainable for those who keep their properties in good repair (i.e. - those who refuse to be slumlords.) Property owners must be incentivized to provide affordable housing, otherwise it will cease to be provided as they fail in their businesses. Buildings will be abandoned and our poorest citizens will find shelter however they can.

Guaranteed payments (Section 8 programs) are property owners’ incentive to provide clean and safe housing to the bottom economic tier, and our society as a whole benefits from that.


This topic has come up on this forum before, and clearly section 8 is not a one-size-fits-all application for any of us. For those who have serious reservations about dealing with section 8 tenants and section 8 bureaucrats, before you are influenced to the point of changing your operation so as to include accepting sec 8, I would think it wise to go visit one of these satisfied sec 8 MHP operations.

In my view, if my MHP is serving the poor and very poor residents of my county, then Sec. 8 is a lot more viable than if my main customer base is a bit better off financially. Also, you must evaluate your temperament in dealing with government.

Post Edited (04-14-11 21:22)

For the record, I have some properties where I do not accept Section 8 tenants and wouldn’t even consider it right now, given my current tenant base and the neighborhood. As Shawn and Tony pointed out in earlier posts, this program and the residents it supports are not for everyone or all properties.

I object to and strongly disagree with the generalizations Dale makes about those who are on the program.


I live in Eastern NC and have had nothing but good luck with my section 8 tenants. I wish that were all I had. The problem with the low rent renters is that there is absolutely nothing you can hold over their head. They don’t care about their credit or reputation, don’t mind moving every few months, and know you got to get in line to get money from a judgment. However with the section tenants when you threaten eviction they take notice because they know they lose the voucher if they get evicted. When I send them a ten day notice they actually notice it. Unlike the others that only notice when the sheriff steps up on the front door and tells them to get out. Besides, when I collect my section 8 money I just feel like I’m getting some of my taxes back. Just curious Dale, what town is your mhp in in Eastern NC?

Post Edited (04-14-11 21:20)

Boy, this discussion brings back first year Latin from 9th grade. It is apropos to everything in life.


To each his own.

Suum Cuique ! At whose expense ? In the ‘The Wealth of Nations’,Adam Smith wrote : “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”

Note: I have never rented to a section 8 tenant.

Indeed, Adam Smith lived in a different USA: The one before the civil war and FDR. There is now a large constituency who believe giving others what they need or want is “helping” them.

I know I am in a tiny minority here but…

As long as a society believes there will always be the poor who must rely on others for sustenance, that society’s false premise will require the community to support the poor voluntarily, ignorantly, or angrily.

I look forward to the time (not likely in my lifetime) when individuals believe in themselves and their ability to improve their own lives, no matter what their current situation. Until then, we, in this society WILL bear this expense, again, whether it be voluntarily, ignorantly, or angrily. If it becomes particularly onerous to ME, I will vote with my feet and move elsewhere as voting with my ballot will have proven little effect.

Adam Smith was pointing out that the butcher, the brewer, or the baker cares not that YOU eat, drink and be merry, he cares that you pay him so that HE may eat, drink and be merry. All businesspeople must care about that first or they will have no business.

No matter what, I feel we must create our own world around us, be that taking handouts or providing a product or service for money. It is our own choice whether we care about how that money was obtained by the other. Perhaps it was money made “under the table” or given by grandma, or made at the job or a handout from the gummint. Therefore I say: Suum Cuique.


P.s. I am of the 'teach a man to fish" philosophy.

I agree with Ryan in re: getting your unit(s) in front of S8 renters. I schmooze every chance I get with the people in the housing office: every case worker, the receptionist, the inspectors . . . I am in the process of getting my third S8 renter on board.

I agree with Tony, Lin, and others who say that their S8 renters are better than average. I do not have expansive SS8 experience as yet, but in my limited scope, I am currently a proponent.

Best wishes to Greg for speedy recovery.

AMEN ! Reality is ! Thank you,Steve.