Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) Requirements

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The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is a federally funded housing assistance program governed by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program is designed to provide low income families, elderly and disabled persons to choose their own residence. Section 8 is the major federal program for housing assistance and is administered by local public housing authorities.

Section 8 Explained

Section 8 is the means by which very low income persons or families, disabled persons and the elderly can choose their own residence and receive government rental assistance. Program participants choose their own low-cost residence and the government makes payments directly to the landlord. There is no set list of housing from which the resident must choose and is not only limited to those already designated as public housing, but the landlord must agree to participate in the program. A participant does not necessarily need to move into a new apartment, but may also get their current landlord to participate or may even use their voucher to purchase a home.

Section 8 Requirement: Citizenship

Only U.S. citizens and certain categories on non-citizens who have eligible immigration status are able to participate in the program. Non-citizen students are ineligible for benefits. It is not necessary that all residents in the household be citizens, just the applicant. Your local Public Housing Authority (PHA) should be able to provide you with citizenship details. In any event, non-citizens will be required to show documentation of their immigration status and eligibility for citizenship.

Section 8 Requirement: Income

Eligible participants must show they have an income of less than fifty percent of the county’s median income. As the median income changes depending on the area, this percentage will be different for each PHA. HUD publishes median income levels by location, and your local PHA should also be able to provide you this information.

Section 8 Requirement: Application

Those who wish to participate in the program must apply and be chosen by their local PHA, which is typically done by lottery. Application requirements are extremely strict and typically require a very detailed application and supporting documentation. After submission of necessary information, the PHA will verify the information and place your name on a waiting list if they are unable to provide immediate assistance.

Typically, waiting lists are closed as much as two years in advance. It is a good idea to check dates in advance with your local PHA.

Section 8 vouchers can provide families in need with housing assistance. Receiving these benefits, though, is complicated and not always immediate. It can often take up to two years if not more to receive a voucher. It is wise to investigate this program and apply early to be considered as soon as possible.

7 Responses to “Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) Requirements”

  1. September 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm, jacqueline said:

    hello i am looking for information about unreported income due to a sheet that section 8 said that the change of staus form was not complat and returned to back to me for futher documentation.. back in 2007.. i am consern about this information and they are asking for the amount to be paid in 10 buissness days .. i would like to see what are my opionons are .. please contact me @ layabosita05@yahoo.com

    thank you
    jacqueline

    Reply

  2. February 09, 2012 at 5:10 pm, Pam Pope said:

    I am on SSD and bring in $,405.00 per month. I would like to know if I meet the requirements for Section 8 under California Law. Please advise what I need to do to apply. Thanks in advance.

    Pamela Pope

    Reply

  3. March 29, 2012 at 3:35 am, Santiago said:

    I live in a section 8 subsidized 4-plex 2 bdrm with my live in aid, my sister was the voucher holder, she recently passed and the owner is taking me to court to evict me because he say’s I don’t qualify because I was the live-in aid but will not give me eny of my sister and myself documentation for the past 4 years lease contract, but filed an unlawful detainer against me saying I did not pay rent so I responded to the court with receipt and now just waiting to see what happens. How can I get a voucher so I can give a notice and move out.
    Hopefull

    Reply

  4. March 29, 2012 at 3:38 am, Santiago said:

    Need a housing voucher fast, wail I’m living in a section 8, 4plex, 2 bdrm, subsidized program.

    Reply

  5. March 29, 2012 at 3:40 am, Santiago said:

    I live in a section 8 subsidized 4-plex 2 bdrm with my live in aid, my sister was the voucher holder, she recently passed and the owner is taking me to court to evict me because he say’s I don’t qualify because I was the live-in aid but will not give me eny of my sister and myself documentation for the past 4 years lease contract, but filed an unlawful detainer against me saying I did not pay rent so I responded to the court with receipt and now just waiting to see what happens. How can I get a voucher so I can give a notice and move out.
    Hopefull.

    Reply

  6. May 01, 2012 at 12:50 pm, Cathy Krueger said:

    I am interested in section 8 apartments. I am a single mother with 1 child and no home. How do I apply and how long does it take to be approved? Is there local help in this process? I live in St. Louis, MO

    Reply

  7. July 20, 2012 at 8:24 am, Nadia Young said:

    I’m trying to find out if anyone else has heard that in Ohio when you gain employment after March 1, 2012 you don’t have to report your income. Just got a job, and I was going to report it, but my worker said I didn’t have to. I NEED my Section 8 and don’t want any mess; so I’m trying to get this information from more than one source.

    Reply

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