Do You Qualify for Section 8 Housing?

by Calyn Ehid

Although qualifying for housing assistance from HUD (Housing and Urban Development) is a clear cut and simple matter, getting into a home under the institution takes a little know how. Knowing the basic outline for qualifying is the first step in building an understanding of the process. When the powers that make their decisions they take four factors into account. Wrapped all together and on a case by case basis, family status, income, citizenship, and past evictions play a part in whether an applicant is worthy. The details of these criteria deserve a closer look. 

Who Can Qualify for Section 8 Housing

At the top of many PHA qualifying lists is the matter of just who intends to occupy a residence. Of course, the look, size and members of a family can range drastically from one set of people to another. However, the authority in charge of section 8 programs have an idea of what they consider a family unit. For starters, a family can be one or more person, so single people need not feel automatically excluded. Moreover, couples without children are also eligible for HUD assistance and programs.

Households that have elderly members (over 62) meet the criteria for help too. Without a doubt, households with people living with disabilities can look to HUD for finding shelter in their time of need. One of the most important and cool facts about finding a home through HUD is that growth and loss within a family unit doesn’t break the deal. Last but not least, individuals or families out of home due to natural disasters are also eligible for this kind of help. Sometimes, a single person finds themselves qualifying for assistance as well. 

What to Know Before Getting Into Section 8 Housing

Even though the assistance and assignment of homes is a lifesaver for countless families across the United States, it comes with a price. Fortunately for the people that do receive this help, the authorities have caps and sliding scales for the more cash-strapped families out there. As a matter of fact, to get into a HUD home a family’s finances have to fall below certain levels. This makes sure that the people who need help get it. Just like with the other requirements, the details of income qualifications are not over complicated, and applicants are placed into three levels. These income levels are described as low, very low, and extremely low. These levels are determined by community comparison. It’s not a straight or strict numbers game, because the number of members in a household makes a difference in their finances and low-income status. 

Citizenship Requirements

Compared to some of the other requirements, the matter of citizenship has a little less wiggle room when it comes to who gets into a home. HUD only has homes for families who members are American citizens or eligible immigrants. There are declarations to sign and documents to provide in making sure that everything stays on the level. However, this doesn’t mean that a family with blended immigration status has anything to worry about. 

Really, the biggest “no-no” on the list is a family’s past evictions. It’s simple. Evictions for drug related offense from anywhere is a deal breaker for sure. Not surprisingly, a record of making methamphetamine while receiving assistance is also a good way to be disqualified. These are non-negotiable prerequisites for section 8 housing.