How to Move and Maintain Housing Assistance
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Section 8 is a housing program overseen by the Department of Housing and Development (HUD). It aims to help financially vulnerable, elderly and disabled individuals find safe and affordable housing in their communities. After a public housing agency contacts eligible candidates about meeting the initial criteria, Families have the responsibility of finding a home and landlord that participates in the Section 8 program. In addition to finding a new home, participants must actively continue to meet the standards set forth by the program. Continue reading to learn the answers to the following questions:
- Are Section 8 recipients allowed to move?
- Will I still need to meet the same Section 8 eligibility standards?
- Are there restrictions on where Section 8 participants can live?
- Will the size of my Section 8 subsidy remain the same if I move?
Are Section 8 recipients allowed to move?
The housing needs of a family can change over time. If a family needs to move to another location or there is a new member added to the household, the subsidy may change. In most cases, participants will continue to receive assistance as long as they continue to meet Section 8 eligibility standards. Provided the participating family notifies the public housing agency prior to moving there will be no loss of benefits. In addition to notifying the agency, voucher recipients should:
- Find acceptable housing in the new location.
- Terminate the existing lease.
- Inform the agency of any changes to income or household size.
- Once the recipient completes the steps above, he or she will be eligible to receive a Section 8 voucher in a new location.
Will I still need to meet the same Section 8 eligibility standards?
The income level of a household determines Section 8 eligibility. To determine eligibility, a local public housing agency will compare the income of a prospective family to the median income of the municipality where they reside. If the applicant earns less than 50 percent of the median household income in the area, the agency may judge the applicant eligible for the program. During the application process, HUD will gather important information regarding the income and assets of each applicant. If deemed eligible, HUD places the name of the applicant on a waiting list to contact when his or her voucher is available. Once awarded a voucher, the participant may begin to search for housing.
Are there restrictions on where Section 8 participants can live?
The Section 8 program does not place geographic restrictions on its recipients. As long as the participating household resides within the United States and live within the jurisdiction of the program at the time of application. If an individual did not reside within the jurisdiction of the public housing agency when they applied for a voucher, they must to wait 12 months before they can move to another jurisdiction. It is important to note that all program participants must notify their local public housing agency before moving to another location. A participant may lose housing assistance if he or she fails to follow the moving procedures of the local agency.
Will the size of my Section 8 subsidy remain the same if I move?
Since housing prices vary across the country, it is possible that a participating family may receive a larger or smaller subsidy upon moving. As usual, HUD calculates the subsidy amount of a participant using statistics from the local housing market. If the cost of living in the new location is higher, a family can expect to receive an increase in assistance as long as household income has not changed.