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Learn About Section 8 Apartments in Virginia

The Virginia Section 8 housing program was created to offer safe, decent and affordable housing to low income families. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the federal entity that governs the Section 8 program in Virginia. However, a Virginia housing authority does a vast majority of the work by distributing housing choice vouchers and qualifying Section 8 applicants on the local level. Some form of Section 8 or public housing is available in all 110 counties in Virginia, and all are served by 44 regional housing authorities.

All Section 8 housing programs in VA have eligibility standards that must be met by residents who want to apply for the program. Principally, residents must qualify for VA low income housing programs in a series of categories, which include income, personal history, citizenship and residency. Low income housing in VA requires eligible housing candidates to earn less than the average median salary in their area, which can be located online for those who do not have this information. In Virginia, HUD and the local VA housing authority consider an applicant’s income to be the combined earnings of not only the applicant, but also the earnings of all household family members. Other Section 8 qualifications in the state of Virginia require the primary applicant to be a U.S. citizen who is living or working within the county where he or she will be applying for housing assistance.

Many new Section 8 applicants may be concerned about the background checks on the Section 8 application. However, the background checks do not include a credit history on family members. Instead, Section 8 background checks will look at criminal records, rental histories, rental reports and financial reports that might indicate a history of defaults on public housing rent. Those with criminal records may still apply to the low income housing program in VA, as long as the criminal offense took place at least five years or more in the past and was not of a violent nature, and the household member has not been in trouble with the law since the felony. Section 8 housing in VA will not accept applications from convicted felons who have committed violent crimes (no matter how far in the past they occurred), those who are listed in the sexual offender database and those who have been convicted of dealing in methamphetamines.

Low income house rentals in Virginia are offered either as a project-based program or as a tenant-based program. Project-based programs offer rental units in public housing buildings that are maintained by the federal and state government. In essence, the Virginia housing authority in that county is the landlord. Tenant-based programs allow Section 8 participants to use a housing choice voucher to select low income house rentals in the private sector. In these tenant-based programs, the Virginia housing authority acts as a liaison that works with the landlord. A landlord who accepts the housing choice voucher will receive part of the tenant’s monthly rent payment from the PHA. All participants in both VA Section 8 programs are required to pay 30 percent of their monthly salary toward rent payments.

Learn the Requirements for Section 8 in Virginia

In order to learn about Section 8 eligibility in Virginia, potential applicants may ask themselves a number of questions. Many ask, “Do I qualify for Section 8 housing in Virginia with my income?” Others wonder, “What are the qualifications for low income housing in Virginia if I have a criminal record?” Each application for VA Section 8 eligibility is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. However, VA residents must meet certain Section 8 eligibility requirements in the areas of income, residency and background. In most VA counties, candidates must not exceed 80 percent of the area’s median income or they will not meet the eligibility requirements for the state.

Learn How to Apply for Section 8 in Virginia

When learning how to apply for Section 8 housing in Virginia, first time applicants may have some questions. Even one mistake can disqualify a candidate’s U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 8 application. It is important to be thorough with the HUD Section 8 application process to avoid unnecessary problems. To start the application process, an applicant can pick up a HUD Section 8 application from his or her local Public Housing Agency (PHA). If a petitioner feels comfortable using a VA online application for low income housing, then he or she can go online and download the form.

Learn About Section 8 Waiting Lists in Virginia

To be placed on a Section 8 housing program application waiting list in Virginia, an applicant must be patient. When a candidate has submitted all of the Section 8 application forms and the required documentation, he or she must wait a total of two weeks at most to hear if he or she has been accepted and placed into the low income housing waiting list. Applicants who have been accepted into the Section 8 low income housing program will be placed on a Section 8 waiting list until housing vouchers are available. All Virginia low income housing waiting lists update independently for each county, so if a candidate does not see his or her name on the Section 8 housing waiting list 2017, chances are that he or she can check waiting list status for Section 8 housing for the local area to see if the application is on the list there.

Learn About Section 8 Denial in Virginia

Section 8 housing disqualifications in Virginia occur when applications do not meet the established criteria set for the program at the federal, state and local levels. In these instances, a Section 8 denial letter will be sent to the applicant outlining the causes for the denial, and in many instances, offering options to the applicant. What are the reasons for Section 8 denial in VA? In many cases, the denied petitioner has simply made errors in filling out the forms or has forgotten to sign the consent forms. If the Section 8 housing disqualifications include these types of mistakes, and the Section 8 waiting lists are still open and accepting applications, the candidate can make the changes and simply resubmit the application. Some counties in VA require those who have received the Section 8 housing disqualification to file for a Section 8 denial appeal, and then refile the application. The process that is observed by the Public Housing Agency (PHA) in the applicant’s region is the best and first place to begin after receiving a Section 8 denial letter.