How Does One Qualify for Section 8 Housing?


Quick Answer

The Housing Choice Voucher Program Section 8 is open to U.S citizens or eligible non-citizens with family income less than 50 percent of the median income in their community, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Most of the funding goes to applicants classified as extremely low income.

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Full Answer

As of 2015, HUD requires the approximately 2400 local or regional Public Housing Agencies that administer the program to provide 75 percent of their vouchers to the poorest applicants, according to HUD. This is defined as families whose incomes do not exceed 30 percent of the median income in their area.

Affordable Housing Online reports that due to extensive applicant waiting lists, local housing agencies use additional discretionary eligibility priorities to help the neediest families qualify for Section 8 assistance. Programs may give preference to applicants who are age 62 or older, for example, or who are U.S. Armed Services veterans, have children, are disabled, or those who participate in local welfare-to-work programs.

Some homeowners are also eligible for housing assistance through Section 8 if they meet certain minimum criteria, explains HUD. Qualifications for homeowner assistance are based on income, value of the home versus the amount owed on the property, and the value of the applicant's other assets.

The HUD online portal offers resources to help potential applicants find more information about housing assistance and how to quality, and provides contact information for all Section 8 Public Housing Agencies in the United States.

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