What it is and how to qualify for Section 8 of low-income housing

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (a coupon distribution program designed to ensure more affordable housing), commonly known as “Section 8” (Section 8), is a federal assistance program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) [Department of housing and urban development of the United States of America]. The program provides individuals and families with low-income subsidies to obtain low-cost or no-cost housing. To qualify for this program you must meet the income and resource requirements and find an owner with a property that meets the necessary conditions and accepts the Section 8 program coupons.

You must meet the income requirements set by the county public housing agency (PHA). The general requirement is that the total income of the family cannot exceed 50% of the average income of the county where you plan to live. The specific income requirements to qualify for Section 8 vary depending on where you live and the size of your family, so you should contact the local PHA for more information. You can find the agency’s contact information on the HUD website.

Meets HUD asset requirements. To qualify for Section 8, your family’s assets must not exceed USD 5000. This includes bank account balances, investments and trust funds. If your assets, in combination with your income, push you above the 50% income limit, a portion of your assets will be calculated as part of your overall income and your monthly income tax will increase. For families whose assets exceed USD 5000, the income derived from those assets or a percentage of them will be calculated as income, which may affect your requirements to qualify for Section 8.

Find a unit that meets the requirements of Section 8. You must find an apartment or house whose owner accepts this program, and the property itself must meet HUD requirements to be included. Ask the owner if he accepts housing coupons or is interested in participating in the program. The local PHA office should inspect the property if you have not already done so.