Families who have applied or those who have even made it far enough to get on a voucher waiting list can lose eligibility for Section 8 due to several reasons. The Housing Choice Voucher Program is a highly sought-after assistance program fully funded by the federal government. Program participants must meet all eligibility requirements and maintain good standing while waiting for a voucher to become available. With waiting times sometimes lasting several months, or even years, many applicants who were once eligible may become ineligible by the time they reach the top of the list. Aside from income eligibility, families must successfully pass background checks.
These background checks look at a person’s criminal history, eviction history, sources of income and more. If a household member were to be found guilty of a crime, the applying household could be taken off the waiting list. It is up to each Public Housing Authority (PHA) to determine whether the crime prevents the person from receiving benefits. However, any household that contains a member convicted of a crime sexual in nature is not allowed to receive any benefits from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
An application may be denied for many reasons, including a family member being convicted of a drug-related crime, the family’s income exceeds the income limit set by the Public Housing Authority, or a family member refuses to sign required forms. Other times, errors made during the application process are reason enough to deny an application. In this, or any other case in which an applicant is no longer eligible to receiving housing assistance, a denial letter will be presented to the applicant stating all reasons he or she is no longer eligible.
If an applicant has received a Section 8 denial letter from the public housing authority, he or she can file a Section 8 denial appeal. A denied applicant can request an informal hearing, which must be submitted within the timeframe set by the PHA. The hearing will be conducted by an impartial party who will be appointed by the PHA. The hearing officer will be an individual who was not involved in making the final decision on your eligibility or granting the housing voucher. Denied candidates have the right to be represented by a lawyer. Both sides will present arguments and supporting documents. The PHA will then issue a statement with the reasons behind the decision.