Find Out If You Qualify for Section 8 Housing
Eligibility for Section 8 Housing is determined based on income limits set by each state. Public housing programs were designed to provide safe rental homes or apartments for the elderly, people with disabilities and low-income families. As of 2015, more than 1.2 million households occupy Section 8 or public housing units, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Who Is Eligible?
Section 8 or public housing units are reserved specifically for low-income individuals and families who qualify. The Housing Authority within each state specifies eligibility and sets income limits. In most cases, eligibility is determined based on U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status, annual gross income and whether or not the household includes a family, elderly person or an individual with a disability. The Housing Authority also checks personal references to ensure that the tenants do not exhibit behavior that could jeopardize the safety of other tenants within the Section 8 housing unit. For example, individuals with a history of drug or alcohol abuse or felony convictions may be denied housing in some states.
What Are the Income Limits?
Income limits vary by state and are weighted based on the household size. For example, the St. Louis Housing Authority stipulates that in order to qualify for Section 8 housing, a household size of four cannot exceed a combined income of $53,700 annually, as of 2015. In order to qualify for Section 8 housing, individuals must provide proof of income with annual tax returns or paycheck stubs that should be submitted with the housing application materials. A property must be deemed as Section 8 for individuals to obtain the reduced monthly rental price.
How Do You Apply?
Applications for Section 8 housing can be filled out at the Section 8 housing unit or at the local housing authority office. The application may require applicants to submit proof of income, credit history, a list of debts and assets and information about family status and household size. Some agencies may also conduct a background check on applicants and conduct a home visit or interview. The present telephone number and address must be included on the application, as well as the names and addresses of previous landlords. Financial documentation such as names and addresses of banks may be requested in addition to names and addresses of current and previous employers.
Section 8 and public housing is often a viable option for low-income families and individuals in need and at risk of being homeless. The application process enables housing authority agencies and property management companies to ensure the individuals secure affordable housing in a safe environment.