Section 8 helps low-income individuals and families to get affordable housing. The Section 8 Housing Program is funded by the government. The program is run by each state, and each state has its own set of requirements for who gets Section 8 benefits. Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) can also have their own requirements. PHAs run the Section 8 program in a local area, such as a city or a county.
To get help from Section 8, a person or family needs to meet an annual income limit. This means your family’s income cannot be higher than a certain amount. This amount is not the same in every state. Also, the income limit amount will depend on how many people live in your house. The more people you have in your house, the higher the income limit will be.
Here are some other things a PHA can consider when they decide to approve someone for Section 8 help:
- If someone has been evicted from Section 8 housing in the past
- If someone has criminal convictions (persons convicted of any crime sexual in nature are not allowed to receive HUD benefits of any kind, including Section 8)
- If someone is a citizen
- How much money a person has in the bank
You will need to show bank statements and other documents to prove how much income and money you have.
The PHA will determine how much help you can get from the Section 8 program. If you are accepted into Section 8, you may not get a voucher right away. This means you may not be able to move into affordable housing right away. This is because the program helps a lot of families, and there is not always enough money to give everyone a housing voucher. Instead, you may get put on a waiting list. Some states even have to close their waiting lists and not accept any more applications if the waiting list gets too long.
If you are accepted into Section 8 and get a housing voucher, you will need to meet requirements to keep on getting help from Section 8. Your income cannot go higher than the income limit if you want to keep getting Section 8 help. Some states require people to take part in other special programs. These special programs can be classes or training programs that help people learn how to manage their money.
PHAs use three categories for families: low-income, very low-income and extremely low-income. These are based on the median income level in the area. You can contact a PHA to find out the median income in your area. Low-income families earn 80 percent of the median area income. Very low-income families earn 50 percent of the median area income. Extremely low-income families earn 30 percent of the median area income. Since they need the most help, extremely low-income families usually get Section 8 benefits first.