Food Stamps

Your Guide to Section 8 Housing

 

Is High Rent Driving You Out Of Your Hometown? Explore The Qualifications For Section 8 And Discover If Section 8 Housing Can Be A Solution For You!

The Housing Benefits of Section 8

The Section 8 Rental Certificate Program is available on a national basis. In general, Section 8 housing is available to low-income families who are unable to afford rent costs in their neighborhood. In order to qualify, petitioners must be approved by their local public housing authority (PHA). If approved, applicants will only be required to pay 70 percent of their rent costs to their landlords. Thus, the PHA will pay the remaining 30 percent.

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) oversees Section 8 eligibility requirements and funding. However, HUD and PHAs are two separate entities. These government agencies must work together in order to best serve residents who would benefit most from housing subsidizations.

What are the requirements for Section 8 housing?

Section 8 eligibility requirements throughout the country examine the overall household income of each applicant. Moreover, PHAs evaluate applications locally. Thus, the specific income levels that applicants must meet vary from one state to another. A candidate’s income eligibility is determined in proportion with their household sizes. In order to receive Section 8 housing, applicants must report the following information:

Family size – Candidates are required to disclose how many individuals make up their household unit. This is important information because families’ sizes will be compared against their annual household incomes to determine whether or not they qualify for Section 8. 
Annual income – For similar reasons as to why petitioners must report their household sizes, they must also report their annual incomes. These subsidized housing benefits are need-based, which means that only applicants who meet specific financial requirements are eligible to enroll. As a result, it is imperative for claimants to accurately report their annual incomes. 
Household assets – When applying for this program, claimants must report their familial assets. This information is used to establish how much static value their household incurs at the time when they apply for Section 8.

Each state maintains its own Section 8 eligibility requirements. In general, however, petitioning households must not possess annual incomes that are greater than half of the annual income for their target cities.

How do I sign up for Section 8?

A Section 8 application may generally be filed online or in person. In-person applicants may visit a local PHA to file an application. Candidates wondering how to apply for Section 8 housing must be mindful that this is not a generally long process. However, receiving benefits may take a while. This is because petitioners who successfully sign up for HUD housing have two additional obstacles to overcome: waiting for a PHA to be able to sponsor them and finding local landlords who accept Section 8 as payment. Moreover, HUD programs are in high demand. Therefore, candidates who are accepted into the program may need to wait a substantial amount of time before they receive benefits. In general, this waiting period varies depending on the region or city where claimants are applying. 

Receiving Section 8 housing requires candidates to find vacant, safe apartments that are operated by landlords who are willing to rent through the Section 8 program. Landlords have some agency when deciding whether or not to be on the list of Section 8 rentals that petitioners can choose from. Furthermore, enrollees who are approved by their PHAs to receive benefits may not rent a residence until the landlord agrees to accept their voucher. This can add additional time to the enrollment process for beneficiaries.

How are Section 8 waiting lists determined? 

Section 8 waiting lists are operated on a local level by PHAs. As a result, enrollees can consult their specific PHA’s website to check their waiting list statuses. However, there are various factors that go into enrollees’ list placements. In order to be a qualified PHA, agencies must maintain at least 550 Section 8 and public housing units. Generally, these units are confined to a single area or zone within a city or metropolis. This means that enrollees that fit into the PHA’s specific zones are more likely to receive more advantageous spots on the waiting list, as they have applied to the appropriate agency. 

Exact information about Section 8 waiting list is at the discretion of each PHA. While there is a component of randomness to the ordering, there are certain demographics that are generally given higher priority in relation to others. For example, Section 8 homes will be more promptly allocated to elderly or disabled applicants than young, single ones. Similarly, families with young children will also be given preference.