Seeking Section 8 Housing? Here’s How To Qualify
(RepublicanNews.org) – There are plenty of houses available in the United States, but not everyone can commit to a long-term agreement. Unfortunately for much of America, the cost to rent a home is often higher than a mortgage — so high, in fact, that many people can’t afford the payments, rendering them homeless. If you or someone you love is facing this reality, Section 8 housing may be able to help. Here’s how to qualify for the program.
Housing Voucher Program
Section 8 is a federal housing voucher program for low-income families that provides funding to help secure safe, sanitary and stable homes in the private housing market. Due to the nature of the program, families must search for qualifying units, but they can choose from townhouses, single-family homes and apartments. The participant’s choice must meet Public Housing Agency (PHAs) criteria.
Once someone finds a home, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) pays the landlord a subsidy on the tenant’s behalf. Benefit recipients pay the difference between what PHAs provide and what the landlord charges. In some cases, a PHA voucher may be enough to allow families to purchase a humble home.
In order to be eligible to receive a housing voucher, an applicant must at the very least qualify as US citizens or hold legal immigration status.
PHAs also follow income guidelines that determine eligibility based on family size and total annual gross income. Typically, a family cannot make more than 50% of the median income for the metropolitan area or county they live in. The exact number varies by location; HUD makes regular updates to the figures in response to inflation and other factors.
The law requires that PHAs issue at least 75% of their vouchers to individuals or families that don’t exceed 30% of the median income for the area. A local office will be able to provide the most information regarding income limits in the area and for the family size.
A PHA will ask applicants to provide family income, composition and assets in determining eligibility. The agency will then verify the information with the person’s employer, bank and other local agencies before deciding on eligibility and how much it can pay. Eligible candidates get placed on a waiting list in most cases, but faster help may be available in some regions.
Local PHAs normally notify applicants once their name is next on the list. The agencies then provide vouchers for rent or real estate purchases.
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