How Do You Qualify for Section 8 Housing?


Quick Answer

To qualify for Section 8 housing, a person's household usually needs to have limited income and at least one member who is a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen. Being qualified for Section 8 housing is no guarantee of enrollment in the program.

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Full Answer

An individual may not qualify for Section 8 housing if he has a history of alcohol abuse, violent criminal activity or illegal drug use. A person who has committed housing assistance fraud in the past also may not qualify. Qualifying senior citizens and people with disabilities can apply for Section 8 housing. Special vouchers are available for non-elderly individuals with disabilities.

Some studies have shown that only roughly a quarter of families who actually qualify for Section 8 housing vouchers actually receive housing. Demand often outweighs supply, and waiting lists are usually lengthy. Depending on the area, families may not even be able to apply for Section 8 housing since the housing authority is no longer accepting applications. Qualifying families are usually chosen by a monthly lottery.

An individual in Section 8 housing who starts to earn more may have his voucher reduced according to his most current income. Once he starts earning more than 80 percent of the local average income, he no longer qualifies for housing assistance.

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