Is Section 8 the Only Form of Government Assistance for Housing?


Quick Answer

Section 8 is not the only form of government housing assistance. Other government programs for housing assistance include privately owned subsidized housing and public housing.

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Full Answer

Section 8 is a government housing assistance program that gives people who meet the threshold of need a voucher to pay a portion of the rent at a place of their choosing. There is some limitation in that only certain apartment complexes and private owners are set up to accept Section 8 vouchers. Privately owned subsidized housing involves privately owned apartment complexes and housing units doing their own income verification and offering lower rent costs in exchange for a tax subsidy directly from the government.

Public housing involves apartment complexes and housing units owned and maintained by federal, state or local government. This housing is typically available for free or at a very reduced cost. For this reason, public housing programs are often overloaded with long waiting lists of people in need. Many of these programs are full in large cities where affordable housing is difficult to find.

Other housing assistance programs through the government include home loan programs from the Federal Housing Administration. The FHA partners with private loan services to offer loans on qualifying properties to qualifying individuals with low interest rates and little or no down payment. The government also handles emergency housing for crises like natural disasters through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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