The social and economic objective of public housing is to provide safe and affordable housing to those in financial hardship and in the throws of poverty and homelessness. In response to this imperative, Congress enacted 42 U.S.C.
Section 1487 which has evolved into what most of us now know as Section 8 Low Income Public Housing.
There are a number of different types of Section 8 housing programs. The most accepted and widely used among them is the Housing Choice Voucher program. This highly successful federal program serves over two million impoverished households every year.
Housing Choice Voucher Program
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) manages Section 8 programs in conjunction with the state governments. Both levels of government work closely to meet the growing housing demands of the poor.
The program allows those who qualify to find housing of their choice and then use the housing voucher to pay for all or part of their rent. It can be any rental unit located in any neighborhood of the persons choice. Providing individual choice in housing has moved the program closer to meeting the geographical needs of those seeking public housing assistance.
You can apply for Section 8 vouchers at any Public Housing Authority office in any county or city in the state in which you legally residence. You can also choose to apply for vouchers on line though a personal interview may be required.
Secondary Online Housing Assistance Services and Sites
If you choose a non-government affiliated online service or site to assist you in the application or verification process we recommend you proceed with caution.
Specifically, be on the look-out for dubious online services posing as government related and approved assistance sites that may promise you fast and easy approval of your housing assistance application for an up-front processing fee or some other financial benefit.
We recommend that you deal directly with your local HUD center or use only HUD approved counselors to assist you in the public housing application process. We have provided you with their direct contact information below.
Qualifying For Low Income Section 8 Housing
To qualify for Low Income Section 8 assistance, you must first meet the income and resource requirements, and find a landlord with an eligible unit that accepts Section 8 vouchers. Your landlord’s full cooperation is essential to the process.
The amount of your rent voucher is based mostly on your household income. Assuming you qualify, the voucher will pay anything above 30% of your adjusted monthly income up to an established limit. To illustrate how this works lets say you earn $1,000 per month and the apartment you are applying for rents for $900 per month. Based on the programs requirements, you would likely have to pay about $600 and the voucher would cover the difference of about $300. Other factors may be considered in the qualification process such as limits on the applicants investment assets.
Must Have Limited Assets To Meet Section 8 Income Requirements
If you have total assets including investments and trust funds, of over $5,000, either the income derived from those assets or a percentage of those assets will need to be calculated as income and therefore affect whether you will qualify for section 8 assistance.
Section 8 Vouchers – The Apartment and House You Already Occupy
You may be able to qualify for the apartment or house you already occupy so long as the rental qualifies under Section 8 standards. Your current landlord must qualify under Section 8 to participate in the housing voucher program. If your landlord does not currently participate, your local housing authority must first determine whether the apartment or house can come into compliance with Section 8 guidelines and requirements.
To determine if your existing rental qualifies you will need to contact the Public Assistance Housing Agency in your county. You can do that by visiting your local HUD PIH Customer Service Center or by calling one of their counseling staff toll free 1-800-955-2232. The PIH Customer Service Center is staffed to answer your public housing questions during normal business hours five days a week.
For local information on Section 8 – Low Income Housing and other helpful public resources and programs, select your state from the list below: