Learn how to sign up for section 8
If someone wants to apply for section 8 online, they must assess their income level to see if they even qualify for section 8.
HUD has what’s called their median low income level, and it varies from state to state. The intention is to only allow low income families and individuals the opportunity to apply for section 8 online or at local housing authorities. The reason for this is so others do not try to take advantage of the section 8 program, as it is meant for those that are truly in need.
These realities aside, if you are in a low-income group and you need rental assistance or other aid under the voucher program, you should first determine if you meet some basic income requirements. Income requirements vary from one area to the next, but in general your family will need to earn no more than 50 percent of the median income in your area. HUD estimates different areas’ median incomes every year.
In 2007, the national median income for a family of three was about $52,000. So, to qualify, your family of three would have to earn less than $26,000 a year. Remember, this limit applies to total household income — all the income earned by everyone in the household combined.
Another consideration is the number of people in your family. The fewer people in your household, the lower your Section 8 income limit. This being said however, when housing authorities post applications online, an abundance of people apply for section 8 online that do not even qualify for the program.
Because Section 8 is not considered an entitlement benefit, everyone who qualifies for a housing voucher doesn’t necessarily receive one. According to recent estimates, only about 25 percent of the families qualifying for aid receive it. In many areas, qualified families face fierce competition for vouchers. Waiting lists are often long. Because of huge demand, some local housing authorities have even stopped accepting applications entirely. For example, over 2,300 families are on Chicago’s waiting list. Recipients are chosen from the waiting list by a monthly lottery; until the list is exhausted. People often confuse public housing list with a section 8 application waiting list when applications are being accepted.
Local housing agencies must also give preference to extremely low-income families, those with household earnings less than 30 percent of an area’s median income. Of the new applicants admitted to the program each year, 75 percent must be extremely low-income.
If you qualify for Section 8 and then your situation stabilizes, and your household’s income rises, that’s great. That’s how the program is supposed to help you. The income limits for qualification only matter at the time you apply for Section 8 assistance. However, as your family earns more, your vouchers will be proportionately reduced. Once you’re earning over 80 percent of local median income, your assistance will fade out entirely.
If you think you qualify for a Section 8 housing voucher, you should contact the public housing agency in your area. Contact information, including toll-free phone numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses, can be found on the HUD web site.
If someone qualifies for Section 8 housing, they will only have to pay about 30% of their monthly income towards their rent, the Section 8 or subsidized housing program pays the rest.
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Looking for more info about how to apply for Section 8 and other government rental assistance programs?
Try these helpful links below: