Qualifications for Section 8 Housing

(DailyDig.com) – The nation is currently experiencing a housing crisis. A combination of factors such as a lack of available construction workers, rising material costs, and supply chain shortages have caused the supply and demand of homes to get out of sync. Housing prices and rental rates have soared as a result, and people are left scrambling trying to figure out how they will keep a roof over their head. Naturally, some have started to look at Section 8 housing qualifications and how they might be able to keep themselves afloat despite everything that is happening right now. We want to take a look at the qualifications that one must meet in order to be eligible for Section 8 housing.

Income Requirements

The first requirement that anyone interested in Section 8 housing must consider is the income requirements. There are strict limitations in place regarding how much one can bring in and still receive assistance. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) explains it like this:

Eligibility for a housing voucher is determined by the PHA based on the total annual gross income and family size and is limited to US citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. In general, the family’s income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live.

Should a family’s income exceed that 50% limit, they will not be considered for Section 8 housing. What needs to be stressed is that the median income of a local area is what is taken into consideration, and those income levels can vary wildly from place to place. Here are some examples of median family incomes across different cities:

  • Milwaukee: $86,415
  • Denver: $75,646
  • Tulsa: $49,158

This is just a sampling of what the median income looks like for different cities throughout the country. You can see the big disparities between different places. The full median income in Tulsa would be just over the limit to receive Section 8 housing assistance in Milwaukee. This is why it is so important to research your local area before determining if you are eligible for Section 8 housing or not.

Citizenship Requirement

The United States government requires that anyone receiving Section 8 housing assistance is a legal citizen of the United States, or that they can show documentation that they are eligible for immigration into the country. This means that one must show their Social Security card, their passport, or a Green Card in order to receive their assistance.

Households that include children will need to submit a birth certificate for each child in the house to prove their identity and that they are part of the qualifying family.

Criminal Records

The HUD department is very likely to turn down anyone with a criminal record from receiving Section 8 housing benefits. There are some exceptions for those with low-level offenses that occurred more than 5 years ago. The government will try to do its best to forgive situations that happened many years prior, but they also have a responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone who applies for the program. To accomplish both of these objectives, the government sometimes has to deny some people their shot at the program.

Previous Evictions

Finally, HUD will consider any previous evictions that an applicant might have had. The department wants to ensure that people who receive housing assistance are able to abide by the rules and regulations of being responsible tenants. If one has been previously kicked out of their housing accommodations because they were unable to follow the rules laid out for them, then it is unlikely that they will be granted a Section 8 housing voucher. The government must make choices at its discretion regarding who they allow into the program or not.

These are a few of the Section 8 housing requirements that you need to know about. If you are able to get past these hurdles, then you stand a great chance of receiving the benefits that you require.

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