Section 8 housing is made available to people who meet a number of criteria linking mainly to their income. The HUD (U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development) has made it its mission to ensure that all people are able to afford housing, and has as such worked together with local authorities in order to make sure that systems are put in place to achieve this. You may, therefore, be looking for section 8 housing and apartments for rent. However, before you continue your search, you first need to know whether you meet the criteria and what the process is. Unfortunately, you may also need somewhat of a reality check.
Are You Eligible for Section 8 Housing and Apartments for Rent?
There are two types of properties that are made available to people who are eligible, and these are affordable housing and section 8 housing. Section 8 housing is usually only available to those who earn 50% of less than the mean average gross annual income of the county in which they live. Other criteria of importance include family makeup, as you will usually have to have at least one dependent child. The exception is if you are elderly or disabled, in which case you may also be eligible for section 8 housing.
What Is the Process of Finding Section 8 Housing and Apartments for Rent?
The first step is to contact your housing authority and request the relevant forms. These forms will provide them with details about who you are, how much you earn, what your current situation is, and why you need to change your current housing. You will need to provide quite a bit of supporting information that proves your income, family makeup, age, and disability status if applicable. The housing authority will then perform a number of checks to validate the information provided. They will also check your renters’ history, to make sure you will not cause problems for your neighbors or the neighborhood itself. If you are classed as eligible, you will be placed on a waiting list, and this is where the reality check comes in.
Since the financial crisis, demand for section 8 and affordable housing has shot up, so much so, in fact, that few properties remain available. If you are accepted, therefore, you will have to deal with the reality that you will be on a waiting list, sometimes for many years. Usually, these waiting lists are first of all based on priority cases, after which they become first come first served. However, this does not mean that you have to despair and worry about having to live in a car or on the street. The HUD has a number of processes in place to help you with rent payments while you wait for a section 8 property. Hence, it is vital that you contact them as soon as possible to get help. In addition, if you are eligible for section 8 housing, you will be on a priority waiting list.