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Although the Section 8 program is well-known among Americans, not everyone is aware of its requirements. So, Hanfincal will answer the question of how to qualify for Section 8 housing today. Don’t overlook this article.

Section 8 housing is one of the federal programs that provides housing vouchers to low-income families and individuals. Public Housing Authority (PHA) will pay directly about 70% of the monthly rent to the landlord if the applicants get a Section 8 Voucher.

1. How to qualify for Section 8 housing?

To qualify for Section 8 housing, the applicant must meet 7 eligibility requirements below:

1.1. Citizenship

You must be a U.S. citizen or show documentation of eligible immigration status to apply for Section 8. A declaration is sufficient to meet The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) standards for proving citizenship. When applying for Section 8, you and every member of your family must sign a form to state that.

However, in some cases, you may be required to show your local PHA some additional documents when applying, including:

Eligible immigrants will also be required to sign a statement attesting to their immigration statuses, provide Immigration and Naturalization Service documents proving those statuses, or sign a form giving the PHA permission to use that information.

1.2. Income limits

People who apply for Section 8 must meet the income limits, which are less than 50% of the AMI for the area where the voucher will be used. The AMI (Area Median Income) of a household is determined by its gross income, which is the amount of money received before taxes and other expenses are deducted. The income limit is divided into three tiers:

  • Extremely low income: 30% of the AMI.
  • Very low income: 50% of the AMI.
  • Moderately low income: 80% of the AMI.

HUD provides an online query tool to check income limits in your area based on the number of your family member. People with extremely low incomes are usually given priority for Section 8.

1.3. Family status

Your household must reach HUD’s definition of “family,” which includes any of the following characteristics:

  • A multi-person family, with or without children,
  • Have at least one member 62 or older,
  • Have one disabled family member,
  • Has been evicted from their home for a qualifying reason,
  • Lived with Section 8 recipients but now lives alone after other family members moved out,
  • Section 8 is available to single people, and you do not need to have children to qualify.

1.4. Disabilities

If you show proof that you or someone in your household is disabled, PHAs may prioritize your family on the waiting list. You must provide appropriate medical evidence and documentation of your disability and proof of any Social Security disability compensation received.

A documented disability may entitle your family to a larger housing unit or an extra bedroom, depending on the severity of the disability.

1.5. Criminal record

To meet the qualification of Section 8, the applicant can not have any criminal record. If a member of your family has committed a crime during the past five years, the HCV program will not accept your application. HUD also prohibits any registered sex offender and anyone convicted of manufacturing methamphetamines in public housing from participating in the Section 8 program.

1.6. Eviction history

You will be denied entry into any Section 8 program if you or anyone in your household has been evicted from a rental property, particularly for a drug-related crime, within the last three years.

1.7. Residence status

Many PHAs require you to live within the PHA’s jurisdiction to be eligible for a Section 8 housing voucher in that area.

If you want to know how to get a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher fast, click here. Why wait?


2. How to apply for a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher?

There are 3 steps to apply for a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program below:

How to Apply for Section 8 housing vouchers

How to Apply for Section 8 housing vouchers

Step 1: Complete the application

First, you have to complete the application form. You can apply online, in person, or by mail.

Step 2: Submit supporting documents

After you have supported your application, your PHA may request supporting documentation. Some of the things you might be asked for are:

  • Tax returns,
  • Statements of bank accounts
  • Copies of government-issued identification for all family members,
  • Proof of citizenship (i.e., passports, birth certificates, etc.),
  • Pay stubs,
  • Copies of your most recent lease.

Step 3: Join the waiting list

This waiting list includes all individuals and families who have been approved for housing choice vouchers. When a rental home becomes available, you can be removed from the waiting list and begin receiving voucher benefits.

Getting on the waiting list does not mean that you will be able to find housing right away. It can take years for an applicant to rise to the top of the pool in some cases.

How to qualify for Section 8 housing? Understanding this program’s criteria will help you understand your benefits if you meet one of its requirements. Please reread the above qualifications from Hanfincal to ensure that you fully comprehend the Section 8 program’s eligibility. Don’t pass up your chance to get the benefits.

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