Section 8 Requirement Guide

In a bid to support low income families or those with mortgage installments, the government supplied vouchers that can be received gotten through a famous program affectionately known as “Section 8”.

Section 8 in America

Most American families don’t make enough money to afford safe, secure housing.  In fact, a majority spend more than half of their income on housing, which leaves them struggling to make ends meet in other areas like food and schooling.  True enough the government put in place programs that help struggling families get more affordable housing, but unless you’re knowledgeable of these programs, you won’t be able to know what they are or which ones to apply for.

The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) runs a program called Section 8, or Housing Choice Voucher. This  employs public housing agencies who assess property, screen applicants, make contracts with landlords and releases funds to these landlords.

Section 8 vouchers are not solely for public housing projects but can also fund people in private homes. There is no set location or types of buildings that can be funded within a jurisdiction. If you qualify for the section 8 voucher you can opt for a town home, apartment or single-family home as long as the rate is in the areas market value. Although the vouchers are primarily meant for rent payment, they can also be used for mortgage payments in some circumstances.

Am I Eligible for Section 8?

There are only two factors that ultimately determine if you’re eligible for section 8 or not; family income and household size.

Income: HUD will consider you eligible if the total annual gross income for your family is less than 50% of the median income for the metro or county where you want to live, or currently live in. Every locations public income levels are published by HUD.

On the Credio website, you will find income levels for several states. Income designated as “very low” denotes 50% of the median income while “extremely low” denotes 30% of the median income. According to the regulations of the Federal law, 75% of money in Section 8 must be allocated to families in the category of “extremely” low income.

Household: According to HUD, a household is:

  1. A single person or a group of person that includes a child or not.
  2. One person or two aged 62 years and over living together possibly with live-in aides.
  3. A disabled person or persons possibly living with live-in aides.
  4. Households with a disproportionate amount of live-in family members to income ratio

Additional Requirements

  • You must be a US citizen or a documented non-citizen (with eligible immigrant status).
  • You must have a clean criminal record; past sexual offenses will disqualify you.

The Local Public Housing Authority (PHA) will collect and verify information on family composition, assets, family income to determine your final eligibility and the housing assistance payments you’ll be awarded.

What’s the Eligibility for Subsidized Mortgages?

To qualify for mortgage funds, you must be earning more than $10,300 yearly having worked for at least one year at your job during the time of your application.

What Preferences Are Ideal for Qualification?

Because community needs in every jurisdiction are different, the Public Housing Authority is given the task to set the local preference standards for their jurisdiction. If you fall in any of the designated groups, you stand a higher chance of receiving funds immediately or moving up faster on the waiting list. Here are popular local preference standards.

  • Disability
  • Displaced family
  • Spending more than 50% of income on housing
  • Veteran/widow of veteran of US armed services
  • Aged 62 years or more
  • Family separated due to housing challenges
  • Working more than 42 hours/week
  • Currently living in a shelter

Determining the Eligibility Of the Housing Unit

In addition to meeting the qualification requirements, the housing you select must also meet the Public Housing Authority’s qualification guidelines. Here are most common housing prerequisites.

  • Inspection – Public Housing Authority will inspect and certify that the house meets basic safety and health standards.
  • Landlord – Landlords are not compelled to accept Section 8 vouchers. However, most are motivated to accept vouchers if you’re a good tenant with good rental history, clean criminal records and high credit scores. The landlord must accept the terms in the agreement of Section 8.
  • Unit Size – The unit size of the house will be determined by PHA in accordance to your unique family needs and composition.
  • Lease Amount – The maximum voucher allowance is calculated in accordance with area prices. Typically you will pay between 30% to 40% of your monthly income on utilities and rent.
  • Lease Duration – The original lease must be for up to a year, but total lease duration is negotiable with the landlord.

Although there is no guarantee that you will get a section 8 voucher within a certain time, it’s worth applying and being on the wait list.  Ultimately, it’s an opportunity to give your family a better quality of life.  You can sign up for the waiting list HERE.

Take the Next Step:

Waiting lists can take 3 – 6 years and even then you’re not guaranteed approval.  If you need immediate assistance today, please click here.