How to Qualify for Section 8 Housing
The program provides housing support to many low- and moderate-income families around the United States.
Moreover, Section 8 benefits are federally funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) but are administered locally by public housing agencies (PHA) that receive the funds.
These agencies will provide vouchers that the applicants use to afford rental housing, which must meet the PHA health and safety standards.
To determine eligibility, the program considers the family’s gross annual income along with many other factors.
However, many states have closed their waiting lists and no longer accept applications.
As for current beneficiaries, they must continue to meet eligibility requirements to keep receiving benefits.
Many of these benefits include special programs that families must be part of to reach financial independence and reach their financial or career goals.
The main benefit includes a partial or complete subsidy of affordable housing for families.
This payment is made on behalf of the PHA directly to the landlord of a property where the participants choose to live in.
To learn more about the program eligibility requirements, you can read the article below to learn more about Section 8 housing.
Learn About Qualifying for Section 8 Housing
You can apply for Section 8 benefits and qualify to receive them if you meet the programs’ requirements.
Since this program was created by the U.S. government to help qualifying low-income residents find low-cost housing options, you must meet the annual gross income levels set by your state of residence.
After you qualify for the program, you must still meet the income level requirement as well as the other program requisites.
The PHA that determines your benefits takes in to account the following:
- Family size and composition
- Personal history
- Assets you own
- Citizenship or legal immigrant status
- Eviction History
The local public agency that you apply in will consider this information to determine your aid.
While you may qualify when you earn $15,000 a year, you may earn more money and still qualify depending on your family size and composition.
Due to the high demand for benefits in this program, the HUD prioritizes extremely low-income families, especially those who have received benefits in the past.
For this reason, your application may take a couple of weeks before the PHA process it.
To estimate your complete eligibility for housing, you must submit all the information that your local agency requires you to submit.
Moreover, the PHA also gathers more of your personal information from other third parties. This includes information from banks, previous employers, other local agencies and more.
The agency also considers other factors such as your family’s lifestyle including spending habits and any past drug use.
Once the PHA determines that you are eligible for benefits they will inform you of the amount that you will receive to pay for a low-cost rental home.
Learn About Income Requirements for Section 8 Applicants
You can learn more about how to apply and qualify for Section 8 housing benefits by familiarizing yourself with the income requirements.
The program’s main target category are low-income families in the United States.
However, the PHA divides this category into extremely low income, very low income and low income.
As you submit your application, the PHA will give you a preference based on your income level, and some applicants might be given preference over you.
Moreover, your family’s size also affects the type of priority that the PHA will give the application you submit.
The size of your family along with its gross annual income are used in combination by the PHA to determine the category that you will fall under.
For instance, the PHA will consider your application an extremely low income if you and your family only earn 30 percent of the average are income.
Moreover, very low-income families only earn 50 percent of the same average, while low-income households are those who earn 80 percent of it.
The PHA considers any of the following as a family:
- Group of individuals that form a household, with or without children.
- A family constituted by elderly individuals older than 62 years of age.
- Single applicants with or without children.
- Displaced families, with one or more of their members having been displaced at some point in time.
Learn About Benefits for Section 8 Applicants
The PHA will provide 75 percent of all available vouchers to extremely low-income families that do not earn more than 30 percent of the average area income.
Therefore, you will fall under one of the three income categories depending on your income and family composition.
The income averages also vary depending on your location, even within the state.
You must contact the PHA in your area to know about income averages, and you can understand more about which category you will fall in when you apply for Section 8 benefits.
Moreover, the public housing agency where you apply will be the one responsible to determine your income level.
If their final estimation of your income level does not exceed the limits, your family will be considered eligible to apply for housing vouchers and will be placed on its corresponding category.
The PHA considers different sources of income, and some may be excluded from the calculations.
Therefore, you will not be able to calculate exactly the category that you will fall in before submitting your application.
Moreover, you will not start receiving benefits right away even if your household is placed in one of the low-income categories.
You will be first placed on a waitlist and you will start receiving benefits once you reach your turn. At this point, payments will be sent to you through a housing voucher that the PHA issues.
You must also be a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant with a regulated status to apply for housing support.
You can expect the PHA to ask you to provide documentation to prove your status such as a U.S. passport, Social Security card, resident alien card and any other appropriate documents that indicate your legal status.
Your family will be eligible for full housing assistance if all its family members are U.S. citizens.
On the other hand, families with members who are not U.S. citizens or have a legal status and members who do not, will be considered as mixed and are able to receive prorated assistance.
The PHA will calculate your household’s assistance based on how many members have an eligible status. If you and all other members of your family do not have legal status, you will not be able to apply for complete or partial benefits.