What Are Disqualifying Factors for Section 8 Housing?

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In general, renters may be disqualified for Section 8 housing benefits for criminal activity, misrepresentation and financial irresponsibility; changes in income and household composition may also cause disqualification from the program. Section 8 is funded by the federal government, but eligibility requirements vary from state to state.

As of 2015, registered sex offenders and those who have been convicted for manufacturing methamphetamine while living in a federally subsidized housing unit are barred from participation in the Section 8 program. Federal guidelines for the program allow individual housing authorities to evaluate the criminal history of other applicants on a situational basis, but any violent or drug-related crime could be grounds for disqualification from the program.

Section 8 benefits may be denied if the applicant intentionally lies to the housing authority about where he is living or other benefits he is receiving. Applicants that use a public housing unit for a business or fail to report that they are related to their landlord may also be disqualified. Renters who fail to pay utilities or their portion of monthly rental fees may also face removal from the program.

The Section 8 program is based on financial need. Those who previously qualified for the program stop getting aid if their income exceeds financial guidelines. Changes in household composition, particularly when added occupants increase overall household income, can also result in disqualification.