What is Section 8 Housing?

 

 

What is Section 8 Housing?

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP), also known as ‘Section 8’, is a federal program that provides financial assistance to those who qualify. The program helps low-income families and individuals, the elderly, and persons with disabilities by paying a portion of monthly rents due to landlords of homes and apartments.

 

 

How It Works

A person selected to participate in HCVP is issued a rental voucher and then has 120 days to locate a housing unit suitable to the family’s needs and desires in the private rental market (the family also has the option to stay in their current location if the unit meets the requirements).

Once the family selects a unit, a local housing agency must inspect the unit before initial leasing (and at least annually thereafter) to ensure that the unit meets HUD’s housing quality standards (HQS). The housing agency will then pay a rental subsidy each month to the landlord or property owner on behalf of the family that was issued a Section 8 Voucher.

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) works with multiple regional housing agencies as well as local agencies to administer these Section 8/HCVP subsidies.

Eligibility Requirements

Household gross income determines eligibility for the program. Seventy-five percent of Section 8 vouchers issued must be awarded to families whose overall income is not more than 30% of the median income in the area in which they live. Overall, household income typically must be less than 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area. These parameters are set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Local agencies can provide further details regarding eligibility.

Application Process

To file an application, you must first contact a DHCD local or regional administering agency. Or you can download a hard copy of the application from your state’s DHCD page and then submit it to one of the regional agencies. Keep in mind that demand for housing assistance often exceeds the available resources which can result in a waiting list, so it’s important to plan ahead.

More About Section 8

Other details about Section 8 housing you should be aware are following.

First, Section 8 tenants are not allowed to pay more the 30% of their income toward rent. Any deficiency will be covered by the housing agency and paid directly to the landlord or property owner. The amount of rent that can be covered, however, is determined by the fair market rental values.

Second, there is no restriction governing how long a family/individual can participate in the Section 8 Housing Program.

Third, both landlord and tenant benefit from the Section 8 program. By choosing to participate in the Section 8 Housing program, landlords must meet housing quality standards (HQS) as dictated by HUD. This ensures a safe and clean living environment for the tenant.

However, as a Section 8 beneficiary you will have to adhere to certain guidelines in order to retain your monthly assistance. If both tenant and landlord abide by the Section 8 restrictions, then the tenant has a nice, affordable place to live, and the landlord gets paid regularly and on time. It is in the interest of all parties to comply with the Section 8 guidelines.

37 thoughts on “What is Section 8 Housing?

    1. Latrenda,

      We are not affiliated with any Housing Authority or Government agency.
      What you need to do is contact the Authority you applied through.
      They may be able to help you find where you are on their waiting list.
      Also, some Housing Authority websites have portals where you can sign in and check your status.

      I hope this answers your questions,
      Shari

      1. Maria,

        Our site is not affiliated with any Housing Authority or program.
        You will need to contact the agency you applied through. They may be able to tell you where you are on the wait list as well as help you with the login information for their site.

        I hope this helps,
        Shari

      1. Sandra,

        If you feel that you qualify for the Section 8 program then your next step is finding your local Housing Authority.
        You can do this by going to our home page and clicking on your state.
        Here you will find a list of agencies. Locate the one in your area.
        After you click on that link it will take you to a page that gives you the wait list status, application information and contact information.

        I hope this helps,
        Shari

      1. Gregory,

        We are not affiliated with any Housing Authority or Agency.
        You will need to contact the agency you applied through and see if they will provide you with that information.
        Also, some will post updates on their website so you could check there as well.

        Thanks,
        Shari

      1. Perry,

        If you have applied for the Section 8 program then you will need to contact the agency you applied through to see if they will confirm that you are on the Wait list.
        Usually Housing Authorities will send you an email or a letter to let you know if you did make it to the wait list but not all do this.
        Always be sure to keep your contact information updated with them as well as this is the only way for them to notify you if your number is up.

        Thanks,
        Shari

      1. Wilda,

        Each Housing Authority is responsible for their own Wait List.
        You will need to contact the agency you applied through and they may be able to give you that information.

        I wish you the best,
        Shari

      1. Hi Tammy,

        If you have already applied through a Housing Authority then you will need to check with that agency to see where you are on their waiting list.
        We are not affiliated with any program and each Housing Authority manages their individual waiting list.
        Some will list that information on their website as well so that may be somewhere you can check.

        I wish you luck,
        Shari

  1. Hi my name is Rhonda and I am a disable single mother of two I would like to know if I’m on the section 8 list for riverside county

    1. Rhonda,

      I apologize but we are not affiliated with any Housing Authority.
      You will need to contact the Housing Authority in Riverside County.
      They may be able to give you that information.

      Thanks,
      Shari

  2. I really need help with getting a place to stay and im homeless with a 16 yr a d 20 yr old . please help asap dont want to live in tampa in kississmmee or olando. Please.

    1. Valerie,
      We are not affiliated with any Housing programs so the best place to start would be your local Housing Authority.
      They may even have emergency housing.
      If you are not sure how to contact them, go to our home page. There you will find a map. Click on your state. This will take you to a list of Housing Authorities.
      Here you will find if their wait list is open, how to apply and contact information.
      Please give them a call, they are there to help you.

      I hope this helps,
      Shari

  3. Hello my name is mayda l live in new York l have a heath insus I can’t live in new York because of the cold and I can’t travel to Florida to makes housing
    Authory aplication please help me is not easy to pay rent in Florida my income is $733 monthly thank you

    1. Mayda,

      I’m very sorry to hear about your health issues.
      What part of Florida are you hoping to move to?
      Many of the Housing Authorities now have online applications, or you can call them and request they send you one in the mail.
      If you need contact information please go to our home page where you will find a map. Click on Florida and you will find a list of Housing Authorities. Pick the one that is in the area you would like to move to. There you will find if their Section 8 Wait list is open and their contact information.
      I’m sure they will be happy to help you complete the application process you you can get out of the cold.

      I hope this helps you,
      Shari

  4. I been on the list for a long time for section eight. Scene March 3 2010 I haven’t hear a thing from no one. Why???.I’m disability . I been homeless off an on. All can do is rent room. All get SSI. I’m a wife of a vertern. I been turn down by V.A

    1. Teresa,

      I’m sorry you are having such a hard time getting assistance.
      Some wait lists are very long and can take many years to filter through.
      Have you contacted the agency you applied through and confirmed you are on the wait list?
      This would be the first thing I would suggest you do. They may also have other programs available that you could qualify for.
      Also, you need to make sure you continue to update them with your contact information so they can let you know when you reach the top of the list.

      I hope this helps,
      Shari

    1. Davena,

      You will need to contact the agency you applied through as we are not affiliated with any Housing Authority.
      They may be able to give you that information.

      Thanks,
      Shari

    1. Hi Joy,

      If you feel as if your income qualifies for the Section 8 Program then your next step is to find out if your local Housing Authorities Wait List is open and accepting applications.
      You can do this by going to our Home Page and clicking on your state.
      This will take you to a list of agencies in your area.
      Here you will find their wait list status, application information as well as their contact information.
      If their wait list is closed, I would still contact them to see if there are other programs you may qualify for.

      I wish you the best,
      Shari

    1. Nicole,

      The wait is different in each city and state as they all manage their own list.
      You may want to contact the agency you applied through just to confirm that you are indeed on the list and haven’t missed your call.
      Also, it is very important to keep your contact information updated with them as this is the only way they will notify you if your number comes to the top.

      I hope this answers your question,
      Shari

    1. Shelley,

      You will need to contact the agency you applied through.
      We are not affiliated with any program so I am not able to give you that kind of information.

      Shari

  5. Hi my status is active on the waiting list. I’m trying to find out why the local agency cant tell me my exact number on waiting list. I live in somerset county, Maryland.

    Is there a contact number to find out on my own?

    1. Sabrina,

      The agency you applied through will have to give you that information.

      We are not affiliated with any program and each Housing Authority manages their own wait list.

      I hope this helps,
      Shari

    1. Lillie,

      Your fist step is to find out if their wait list is open which means they are accepting new applications.

      If it is open you can apply online the majority of the time, or contact the office if you need assistance in completing the application.

      Shari

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