Are Section 8 Apartments for Rent Available to Anyone?August 12th, 2009 by Emily Gojko
When searching for an apartment to rent, you’re always looking for the best deal. Section 8 apartments for rent may seem like a great option, but section 8 housing are low income apartments available to low income households only.
What is Section 8 Housing?
The Section 8 Voucher Program is a federally run housing program that provides low income apartments for low income households. Previously known as the Section 8 Voucher Program, it has been succeeded by the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The Housing Choice Voucher Program is also referred to as Section 8. In this program, households are given vouchers to be used towards rent in privately owned apartments or houses just like the original Section 8 Voucher Program. Section 8 housing gives families the option of not living in government owned housing, and instead, having the choice of where they would like to live. You are eligible for Section 8 housing if your income does not exceed 30% of the determined median income for your area.
How Much Rent Do I Pay on Section 8 Housing?
The amount of money each household is apportioned is based on the household’s income. The vouchers administered by the program will pay anything above 30% of the household’s monthly income. Simplified, this means is the household is responsible for payment equal to 30% of their monthly income. For example, if your monthly income is $1,500, you would be expected to put $450 per month towards the rent, and the government picks up the rest. So, if the section 8 apartments for rent that you are looking at are $1,000 per month, the government would pay $550, and you would pay $450. That being said, the rental unit must be at the determined fair market rent, or the household will be responsible, as well, for the difference between the fair market rent, and the actual rent.
How Do I Apply for Section 8 Housing?
To apply for Section 8 housing, you must complete a Section 8 application. The program is federally run by HUD, or the Department of Housing and Urban Development, but you apply for Section 8 housing through your local PHA, or Public Housing Agency. To obtain further information on applying for section 8 housing, contact your local housing authority.
I’ve Been Approved for Section 8 Housing. Now What?
It is the renter’s responsibility to find Section 8 apartments for rent. The tenant is also required to sign a lease agreement of at least one year on their rental unit.
How Do I Find Section 8 Apartments for Rent?
Many landlords clearly state in their advertisements that they accept Section 8 vouchers. You can also inquire with the landlord prior to visiting a rental unit. Another option to find Section 8 apartments for rent is to visit the HUD website. There is a section where renters can search for Section 8 apartments in their state.
If you are a low income household, Section 8 housing is a great option for you, as compared with public housing. If you are simply looking for low cost rent, you’ll need to look elsewhere.