What Every American Should Know about the Housing Choice Voucher Program

(NationRise.com) – When you’re having trouble finding housing, and in need of financial assistance to do so, life undoubtedly feels completely overwhelming. If you’re low income, disabled, or elderly, that adds another layer to the difficulties.

Fortunately, Section 8 housing is still alive and well under the title of Housing Choice Voucher Program. If you’re struggling to stay housed or don’t make enough to cover housing in the area in which you wish to live, consider applying for the Housing Choice Voucher Program immediately.

Details About the Housing Choice Voucher Program

The Housing Choice Voucher Program is funded by the federal government, and it’s an incredibly popular housing assistance program. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers this program, helping families and individuals find housing opportunities when they need it most. The Housing Choice Voucher Program, via inspections, ensures that approved housing is safe and sanitary. Once the process is complete, the program provides a subsidy to assist you in paying for your rental.

Public Housing Agencies, or PHAs, handle this process on a local level and disburse subsidized funds to landlords after the qualification and lease processes are complete. HUD requires PHAs to make sure that 75 percent or more of its participants are at 30 percent or less of the area’s median income.

Section 8 is limited to non-citizens with permanent immigration status as well as United States Citizens. Those who are only temporarily authorized to reside in the United States do not qualify.

How the Housing Choice Voucher Program Works

There are many steps in getting Section 8 housing through this program. It’s essential to start early, as the program prioritizes unhoused people and families with children. If you qualify, you’ll have to wait as you’ll be put on a list.

To begin, you have to apply for the program through your PHA. HUD can help you locate your PHA. Many times, you’ll find that the number of people in need exceeds the number of people the PHA can help, which is why the wait list system exists. Those paying over 50 percent of their income to rent are prioritized, so if you’re in this situation, you may not be on the waiting list for long.

Once you’re approved, it’s time to find housing. You’ll have to find an approved dwelling and your landlord must consent to inspections. It can benefit an independent landlord to accept Section 8 vouchers because the government basically guarantees most of your rent, which is an incredible measure of security for them. The PHA will ensure the rent not covered by the program doesn’t exceed 30 percent of your income.

You can apply for apartments, duplexes, trailer homes, single family dwellings and more. They may or may not be in government housing projects.

The PHA will then supply a contract to your landlord. This agreement runs concurrent with your lease. The contract states that the PHA will furnish most of the rent to the landlord, also stating that you are responsible for the remaining amount.

Housing Choice Voucher Program Eligibility Notes

When you apply, it’s best to be prepared with the documentation you need to complete your application. You’ll need information proving your ID, citizenship status, assets, and household income. The PHA compares your income information with the median income for your area.

Factors such as family size are also important when it comes to prioritization, as is your current housing situation and how long it will be until you are imminently displaced without assistance.

If you suspect that you’re eligible for Section 8 housing and you could use the help, it’s advisable to apply as soon as possible to minimize wait list-related delays.

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