How is Section 8 different from low income housing?
Make sure to consult your local housing authority if you want to know how to apply for Section 8 in your area. Most waiting lists remain closed due to the overwhelming demand for rental assistance.
Section 8 vouchers help people with low incomes rent homes on the private market. With a voucher, you pay at least 28 percent, but not more than 40 percent (in the first year), of your household income for rent and utilities. The HA pays the difference between your portion of the rent and the amount your landlord requests.
If you qualify for a voucher, you can use it to rent in your area, not including incorporated areas from any landlord willing to take part in the program. Once you have had your voucher for at least a year, you may use it to rent anywhere in the United States.
What role does HUD play?
The PHA administers the voucher program locally. The PHA provides a family with the housing assistance that enables the family to seek out suitable housing and the PHA enters into a contract with the landlord to provide housing assistance payments on behalf of the family. If the landlord fails to meet the owner's obligations under the lease, the PHA has the right to terminate assistance payments. The PHA must reexamine the family's income and composition at least annually and must inspect each unit at least annually to ensure that it meets minimum housing quality standards. A Section 8 waiting list online, however, can be as long as several years.
HUD's Role: To cover the cost of the program, HUD provides funds to allow PHAs to make housing assistance payments on behalf of the families. HUD also pays the PHA a fee for the costs of administering the program. When additional funds become available to assist new families, HUD invites PHAs to submit applications for funds for additional housing vouchers. Applications are then reviewed and funds awarded to the selected PHAs on a competitive basis. HUD monitors PHA administration of the program to ensure program rules are properly followed.
For additional information about the voucher program, and acquiring a Section 8 apartment application, contact either the local PHA serving your community or the Office of Public Housing within your local HUD office. There may be a long wait for assistance under the housing voucher program. If the PHA also administers the public housing program, applicants for the housing choice voucher program may also ask to be placed on the waiting list for the public housing program. HUD also administers other subsidized programs and you may obtain a list of programs in your area from the Office of Housing at your local HUD office.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available at http://www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.
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