Lastest Section 8 Laws and Expansions in the US

Administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Section 8 program is constantly changing. As the needs of citizens evolve, the program must also evolve to meet them. Before filing an application, it is important for applicants to have an understanding of Section 8 laws and regulations. The vast majority of these laws are federal, but individual public housing agency jurisdictions do have permission to alter some laws to better serve local applicants. Keep reading to learn more about the following topics:

  • The Fair Housing Act
  • Filing a Housing Discrimination complaint
  • The rights of disabled individuals
  • Housing vouchers for homeless veterans

The Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act primarily outlines the rules regarding the Section 8 program and its participants. The Act states that single-family homes, apartments, condominiums and a variety of other properties are available through the program. It also states that vouchers are not usable for housing that is:

  • Rented or sold by brokers.
  • Owned or operated by private organizations, such as clubs.
  • Occupied by the owner (buildings with more than four units).

The Act also requires that Section 8 participants receive equal treatment from landlords. It is illegal to deny a recipient housing based on his or her race, nationality, disability, religious beliefs or ethnicity. It is a requirement for landlords to provide all tenants with the same quality of housing, regardless of Section 8 status. Similar to landlords, mortgage lenders and other private financial institutions may not discriminate against Section 8 participants during the mortgage application process.

Filing a Housing Discrimination Complaint

If you believe that a landlord or organization violated your housing rights, you will need to complete and submit a Housing Discrimination Complaint Form to HUD. This form is available for download as well as submission online at the official HUD website. If you do not have access to a computer or internet service, you can call your local HUD office or write a letter detailing your experience. HUD recommends that participants submit a complaint as soon as possible (voucher recipients have one year to file a complaint after the initial violation of rights). If HUD believes that your complaint is valid, it will take the following actions:

  • Investigate the complaint within 30 days of its submission.
  • Reach an agreement between the tenant and the offender.
  • Have the Attorney General file suit if the offender violates the agreement.

HUD handles the most urgent complaints first during investigations.

The Rights of Disabled Individuals

The Fair Housing Act also protects the rights of disabled individuals. Any Section 8 tenant with a physical or mental disability such as a chronic illness must have reasonable accommodation provided by the landlord. This means that if a disabled tenant needs to make reasonable alterations to his or her dwelling because of a disability, the landlord must allow it. Landlords do have the right to charge the handicapped individual if the alteration damages property at the end of the lease. Dwellings with no-pet policies must also allow service animals if needed by a disabled beneficiary.

Housing Vouchers for Homeless Veterans

The VA Supportive program, also known as VASH, is run by HUD as well. This program helps homeless service members find and maintain stable housing. Like Section 8, the VA Supportive program issues financial assistance in the form of vouchers and eligible participants may use their funds to procure private housing. Anyone eligible for VA health services may apply and if a substance abuse or mental health issue exists, counseling and treatment is available in addition to housing assistance.


What is Section 8?

The Section 8 program was created by the federal government to assist low-income individuals and families with finding affordable private housing. To learn how you can become a member of this assistance program, download our helpful guide today. Beneficiaries of the program have a percentage of their rent covered by the government via housing subsidies, which are administered on a local level by public housing agencies or PHAs directly to landlords. Section 8 members are allowed to choose apartments, townhouses or even modest homes in this program, but the landlord must accept government subsidies in order for the provided housing vouchers to be used. Learn more about how you can qualify for housing assistance and discover the steps to file an application by clicking here.


How much will my housing subsidy be?

As a Section 8 beneficiary, you will pay the difference between your landlord’s rent amount and how much your housing subsidy covers. To find out how you can get a housing subsidy, download our guide now. If you are accepted into the Section 8 program, your public housing agency will calculate the maximum assistance you can receive. Your maximum housing assistance will either be the total rent of your apartment/home minus 30 percent of your adjusted monthly income or it will be the payment standard less 30 percent of your adjusted monthly income, whichever amount is lower. To find out how Section 8 can benefit you today, click here.