When looking up the Section 8 eligibility criteria for Arizona, an applicant might find themselves overwhelmed by the many requirements. Applicants are expected to meet federal, state, and local Section 8 eligibility guidelines to be eligible to receive housing benefits. Many applicants ask themselves, “What are the qualifications for low income housing in AZ?” and “Do I qualify for Section 8 housing?” as they scan through the long lists. While it may be trying to determine whether an applicant meets Section 8 eligibility requirements, taking the process step by step will reveal the answer.
Arizona Section 8 Requirements
What are the requirements for Section 8? Many different factors play into Section 8 eligibility in the state of Arizona. The three main categories determining Section 8 eligibility are income, residency, and background checks. Other requirements are size of household, age of the household member, current assets, and any outstanding debts belonging to any member of the household. To qualify for Section 8 eligibility in AZ, an applicant must meet residency standards. In the state of Arizona an applicant must not only be a United States citizen or equivalent, but must also be a resident of the state. Only the applicant must meet the Section 8 eligibility residency standards. Other members of the household need only be legal citizens or legal residents; they do not have to be state residents. Section 8 eligibility awards special preference to applicants who have members of the household that are pregnant, have young children, are disabled or elderly, or if the applicant themselves is currently homeless.
What are the requirements for low income housing in Arizona?
Do I qualify for Section 8 housing in AZ? Income is perhaps one of the most important Section 8 eligibility qualifications because the further an applicant falls below the local median income level, the higher the chance they have of qualifying not only for Section 8 eligibility, but for higher placement on the priority list. Any applicant who is making under 80 percent of the area’s median income will be eligible for Section 8 housing. There is no uniform number for what 80 percent of an area’s median income is because counties set their own Section 8 eligibility standards. Some counties may be more affluent than others, affording easier Section 8 eligibility qualifications than others. If an applicant is ever unsure of what the Section 8 eligibility median income qualifier is for their area, they can contact the local housing authority for information.
Another important Section 8 eligibility qualification is to pass a renter’s history background check. Any applicants with a poor rental history showcasing late payment, eviction, failure to pay, or even damage to property may receive a Section 8 eligibility denial letter.
An applicant’s criminal history is also considered in determining eligibility. Individuals with a criminal history are not immediately barred from applying for Section 8 eligibility in the state of Arizona. However, this rule excludes registered lifetime sex offenders, nor individuals convicted of distributing methamphetamines. Most criminal records are decided on a case by case basis dependent on where an applicant wishes to settle. If a fellow household member is the one with a criminal record, the main applicant’s Section 8 eligibility application will be evaluated on the basis of the severity and time of the crime. The only instance in which an applicant will not be impacted by a family member’s criminal record is if they leave the household. Otherwise, the Section 8 eligibility application will be reviewed and the housing authority will make a decision taking the infraction into account.
What do I need to apply for Section 8 in Arizona?
An applicant who is new to the Section 8 eligibility application process is strongly encouraged to contact the public housing authority for assistance. The housing authority will check over an application to make sure all fields are filled out correctly and that all necessary documentation has been attached. Providing accurate and up-to-date documentation is the most important part of the Section 8 eligibility application process. When an application is submitted, the documentation attached will be used to verify the information on the form. If there is a document missing, the applicant will receive a Section 8 eligibility denial letter. While some counties may ask for additional documentation, the following is a general list of the types of information an applicant should be ready to provide:
- Social Security cards for everyone living in the home
- Proof of residency in the county (utility bill, or letter from a shelter)
- A listing of any other government benefits
- Current transcripts (if applicable)
- Official birth certificates for everyone in the household
- Pay stubs and tax returns (three months’ worth if applicable)
- A listing of current debts and assets
- Identification for everyone living in the home