Need the Facts about Section 8 Housing? Look No Further; Here's the Scoop
Low-income affordable housing is a major issue in just about every community across the United States. There just isn't enough safe and sanitary shelter for all. That is why Section 8 Housing is so very important. The government program debuted in 1937 for low-income, disabled and elderly individuals. The plan is designed around the Housing Choice Voucher Program, which has been a tremendous asset in reducing concentrated poverty and overcrowding. Keep reading along for the latest trends and how you can look into Section 8 Housing.
So Many People Waiting
Here's a fine example of the strong need for low-income affordable housing. The state of Indiana is experiencing this problem at the moment in the city of Anderson. In just 20 minutes, the Anderson Housing Authority added more than 1,100 people to the waiting list for housing. The applicants go through a background check and an income survey.
The problem is this, however. People with housing vouchers can't find housing. It's frustrating everywhere. It is also different in every community in every state. Some folks have less of a problem finding Section 8 Housing. Look into your city or town's public housing agency to apply.
Qualifying for Section 8
Here is how it works. You need some help paying your rent. This federal program gives eligible participants a voucher, and a public housing agency pays a significant chunk of the rent. The program is run by HUD or the federal government's Housing and Urban Development department. However, the vouchers can only be handed out by local public housing agencies (PHA).
So, how do you get a voucher?
Your family size and total gross income will determine if you qualify for Section 8 Housing. According to the law, 75% of the vouchers must be administered to families whose income is below 30% of the area's median income. If you are interested in applying for a voucher, contact your local PHA. To find this agency in your state, click here.
Section 8 Housing requires some personal information from you:
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Annual gross income
- Mailing address
Also, in order to apply for this housing program, at least one person in your household needs to have legal documentation to be living in the United States.
Background checks will be done. if you have a criminal history, you can still get possible approval with a felony or being out on parole. Every public housing authority has its own set of rules.
Renting Just Apartments?
The cool thing about Section 8 is that you can rent an apartment, condo, single-family home or duplex if these buildings are approved by your local PHA. Not only that, but you can also use the funds to purchase a home through the Section 8 plan. Your local public housing authority would guide you through the buying process. However, this is important to know: There is a 15-year limit-assistance with Section 8 Housing.
In other words, if you took out a 30-year mortgage, Section 8 would only provide you vouchers in your monthly payments for half of the loan term.
The Waiting List Status
This is the most frustrating aspect of applying for Section 8 Housing whether you're looking to rent or purchase. The demand for affordable housing is so high that you could find yourself on the waiting list for years!
After your application has been processed, you can confirm your waiting list status through an online portal.
Don't Fall for Scamming
You will never have to pay money to apply for the government's Section 8 Housing program. Once you've been approved and are on the waiting list, that's it. You cannot move up any quicker than any other qualifying individual on the list. If someone approaches you and says they can help you get to the top of the list, walk away. They are trying to scam you.
Take note that a housing authority employee will never ask you to wire money or pay with a prepaid card. In addition, HUD would never ask for an application fee. That's against the law.
Section 8 Housing still exists after all of these years, and the program has done a lot of good. It's not a perfect plan, and the need for more low-income affordable housing is essential.