If you’re struggling to pay the rent, you may qualify for some help.
- Posted: June 8, 2019
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program is the most popular and sought after housing program in the United States. It is funded and run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The main goal of this program is to award housing choice vouchers to low income earners, seniors, and disabled individuals who meet certain criteria.
How Section 8 HUD Program Works
Participants of the program contribute 30 percent of their monthly income towards rent, and the housing authority that oversees the household’s voucher pays the remaining 70 percent to the landlord. Voucher holders are allowed to rent out privately owned houses and apartments of their choices, as long as those units accept vouchers and satisfy the program’s physical state and rent guidelines.
Following 1 year of tenancy, voucher holders are allowed to “port”. What this means is that they can transfer their voucher to another housing authority jurisdiction on the condition that certain guidelines are met.
How to Qualify To Receive Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher
To be eligible for the housing voucher, you must meet 4 basic criteria, which include:
1. Family Status Requirement
Familial status generally means a person or persons who meet any or all of the following conditions:
- Individuals with or without children
- Households with at least one person who is above the age 62
- Households with at least one person who has a disability
- Individuals who have been displaced from their home due to damage by a natural catastrophe, federally recognized disaster, or government action
- Single individuals who don’t meet any of the above criteria.
2. Income Level Requirement.
Section 8 is aimed at helping low-income earners afford housing. To be eligible for a housing choice voucher, therefore, a family’s annual income is required to be below a certain amounts. Income limits are classified under 3 categories, i.e. low-income, very-low income, and extremely low-income. Priority is usually given to those classified as extremely low-income earners.
3. Citizen Status Requirement
You must either be an American Citizen or you must have eligible immigrant status in order for you to qualify for a Section 8 housing voucher. For those households with a mix of eligible and non-eligible individuals, they can still qualify for the housing assistance. Nevertheless, such households receive an amount that is based on the percentage of eligible family members.
5. Eviction History Requirement
You will not eligible for Section 8 housing voucher if you have been evicted from a property within the last 3 years due to a criminal activity related to drugs. You will also be ineligible for this housing voucher if you have ever been convicted for producing methamphetamine in an assisted housing project.
If you do not meet any of the above 4 requirements, you will not be eligible for the Section 8 HUD Housing Choice Voucher Program. In addition to the 4 requirements, each Public Housing Agency (PHA) has regulations that govern family obligations. This means that even if a household meets the above 4 requirements, they can be denied housing vouchers if members of the family violate any of those family obligations.