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Section 8 Housing Voucher

Section 8

The Section 8 housing voucher program was started in 1974 with the creation of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. The section 8 housing voucher program is a federal rental assistance program that provides aids for low-income renters to pay a certain portion of the rent. Section 8 housing voucher is the common name for the landlord and tenants in the US, funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is a form of government rent assistance.

Section 8 Housing Participants i.e the tenants choose their own rental unit of their choice and pays a certain amount of the household’s monthly adjusted amount to rent. The rest of the rent is paid by the Public Housing Authority which manages the Household’s Voucher.

Types of Section 8 Housing Program

There are four types of Section 8 Housing voucher program which are administered a little bit differently;

  1. Tenant-Based Housing Choice Voucher
  2. HCV Homeownership Program
  3. Project-Based Voucher(PBV)
  4. Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA)

1. Tenant-Based Housing Choice Voucher

Under a housing choice voucher program based on tenants, the voucher follows the tenant. Tenant-Based Housing Voucher is the most popular section 8 voucher. You can find your own home with a tenant-based voucher, as long as the landlord is willing to take part in the voucher program.
This is the Housing Choice Voucher, and you, the claimant, have it attached. The Section 8 assistance remains yours for as long as you are eligible for the subsidy. You are entitled to use the voucher on any property that meets and respects the criteria set out by the PHA. 

2. HCV Homeownership program 

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) homeownership program encourages families sponsored by the Section 8 program to use their vouchers to purchase a home and receive monthly aid in meeting the cost of homeownership.

Only families who have been accepted to the HCV program can use the HCV homeownership program and it is not funded by any public housing agency (PHA). PHAs have the authority to decide whether in their jurisdictions to enforce the HCV homeownership program.

3. Project-Based Voucher

The other form of Section 8 is known as the Project-Based Voucher, which is linked to a particular property. For Section 8 tenants, the PHA provides private property owners with a fixed number of vouchers each year to reserve units. The subsidy stays with the property if you move in and then leave; it does not follow you to your next home. These spaces will fill up quickly, but you may have to wait for the current occupant to leave and for your number to be called if they’re all occupied.

4. Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA)

Project-Based Rental Assitance i.e PBRA is not a voucher, but rather a form of rental subsidy. At a price below market value, a landlord can rent a unit because the gap is subsidized by the Section 8 program.
Project-based rental assistance provides low-income households around the country with vital affordable housing inventories. This form of rental assistance enables renters, based on their wages, to live in an affordable unit and pay rent.

How Does the Section 8 Housing Program Work?

Section 8 housing program is administered and monetized by the Public Housing Authority(PHA). If you succeed in obtaining the Section 8 Voucher and securing a home that accepts it, your portion of the rent would be 30% of your monthly income.
To receive Section 8 eligible vouchers, tenants have to apply to a local housing office. In order to join the program, these Section 8 tenants will be either accepted, rejected, or wait-listed.

After receiving a voucher that covers up to 70 percent of the monthly rent and utility costs, qualifying families will find a rental unit of their choosing. It is the duty of the families to pay the remaining 30 percent. Usually, Section 8 provides rental support for individuals with disabilities and senior residents, as well as households with low incomes.

Public housing authorities manage housing option vouchers locally (PHAs). Federal funds from the United States are obtained by the PHAs. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department to oversee the voucher scheme. There is a waiting list in most communities to obtain assistance until the applicant is eligible.

Eligibility to be Section 8 Tenants

The Section 8 Housing Voucher Program is run by the Public Housing Authority. The purpose of this program is to grant housing vouchers to those who meet the requirements. Even to receive the Section 8 Housing Voucher, certain criteria such as citizenship, Family status, Income, and Eviction history.

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1. Citizenship

As long as you’re a US citizen or have an eligible immigrant status, you can apply for the Section 8 Housing Program. In order to receive a section 8 housing voucher, individuals or applicants must provide evidence of citizenship or eligible immigration status to the Public housing authority.

For American citizens, Public Housing Authority will make you sign a declaration paper stating that you and all members of your family are American Citizens. Certain PHA may also verify each citizenship status by requesting a US passport, Social security card, or other documentation.

For Eligible immigrants, Public Housing Authority will make you sign a declaration paper that you have eligible immigration status. You have to provide Immigration and Naturalization Service(INS) document which proves your immigration status. Eligible immigrants must be ready to do immigrants’ background checks.

Families that are made up of mix eligible and non-eligible individuals can still qualify for the Section 8 Housing Voucher Program. The amount they will receive, however, be dependent on the number of family members eligible for housing assistance.

2. Income

The income limit will differ on the basis of the family size. Income limits are created for families containing from one to eight members. Extremely low income for a family of one maybe $15,000 per year, whereas for a family of eight members $30,000 might be the extremely low income. The Public Housing Authority sets the income limit on an annual basis. The income level depends on the area’s median income.

Here is the example of the income or AMI rising as per the household size increase:

Household Size 2 3 4 5
50% AMI $30,000 $33,750 $37,450 $40,450

 They are segmented into three categories:

Type Income percent
Extremely Low Income 30 percent of the area’s median level
Very Low Income 50 percent of the area’s median level
Low Income 80 percent of the area’s median level

3. Family Status

To be eligible to get the housing voucher, you must meet first the definition of HUD’s definition of family. HUD has set some guidelines on what to define as a family but has given local housing authorities some flexibility in the definition of family.

An individual can get an insight into what family status is required to qualify for getting the housing voucher by going to the local authority office. 

In general, Family status means an individual or group of people who meets any or all of the conditions:

  • With or without children
  • Any of the individual in the family is physically disabled or not
  • Any of  the individual in the family is of age over 62
  • Has been displaced from their home due to the government actions or due to the destruction caused by the natural disasters.
  • Who stays in a housing unit where the household was receiving the section 8 vouchers after other families move out.
  • A single individual who doesn’t fit in any of the criteria above.

4. Eviction History

Section 8 Vouchers will not be granted to anyone who has been evicted from the property for committing a drug-related activity within the time period of three months or has been found producing the methamphetamine in an assisted housing program.

Recommended Article: Renters Insurance.

How to Apply for the  Section 8 Housing Voucher Program?

Applying for the Section 8 housing aided program  can be completed in 3 steps;

  1. Obtaining the Application 
  2. Completing the Application
  3. Submitting the Application

1. Obtaining the Application

You can obtain the application for the Section 8 Housing Program through the internet, mail, or by visiting the Public Housing Authority. 

You must submit the application form online if they i.e the PHA requires you to submit the application form online. Mailing your application in this scenario can result in the denial of your application. You should carefully read the rules for the submission and follow the guidelines.

The application form for applying for the Section 8 Housing Program is available free of charge. If someones ask for the payment, don’t pay them. Instead, ask your supervisor or find and contact the Public  Housing Authority.

2. Completing the Application

You need to fillup the Application that you have acquired for applying for the Section 8 housing program. You may require to fillup the following things in the application form which are given below:

  • Name
  • Mail Address
  • Email Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Phone Number
  • Social Security Number
  • Criminal History
  • Gross income of the household member
  • Address

3. Submitting your Application

Whether submitting the application form for the section 8 housing program is offline or through online platforms such as email or mail address, you must submit it before the deadline. Submitting the application after the deadline has been met may result in the denial of your application.

What if You Have a Section 8 Housing Voucher?

Bring us your voucher.

We love working with the Section 8 housing program.

OKC Home Realty Services, LLC, has worked with the housing program for years.

In fact, we’re very familiar with the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) way of doing things.

And, the Oklahoma City Housing Authority (OCHA) way of doing things.

Many times, we pass the housing inspection the first time around.

We don’t want there to be any delays for your getting into your unit.

You probably already know that many landlords just schedule the first inspection without doing any work at all.

They get the list of repairs, and just plan on doing the repairs that are on the list.

Not us.

We have a detailed pre-inspection checklist that our technicians go through so we have an excellent chance of passing the housing inspection the first time around.

Not all of our properties are approved for Section 8.

Call our office at 405-232-5800 to find out if a particular property is approved for your housing program today!

FAQs:

Are Section 8 Vouchers transferable?

Yes, once particular requirements are met, you can move your Section 8 Housing Option Voucher to a different location. This method is known as “portability.”

How can someone lose Section 8?

The tenant will be liable to pay full rent which means will lose the Section 8 Voucher if he/she is found breaking any of the family obligations or has been found methamphetamine in an assisted housing program.

Can the tenant with no income receive the Section 8 Voucher?

Yes, The tenant with no income can receive the Section 8 Voucher. You can receive the section 8 voucher if you earn less than the income limit set by the local housing authority. Having no income at all falls under this category.

Does a Housing Choice Voucher pay for utilities?

In most cases, the section 8 voucher doesn’t pay for the utilities. If you do qualify for quality reimbursement, it won’t fully cover your actual monthly cost.

How does Section 8 verify your income?

HUD has an Enterprise Income Verification ( EIV ) system which is used to verify your income alongside the documentation provided by you

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Scott Nachatilo

Hi, I’m Scott Nachatilo and I own a property management company in Oklahoma (OKC Home Realty Services, LLC). We help landlords and real estate investors to manage their property in OKC

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