How to find Houses For Rent by Owner Accepting Section 8 Program – The Section 8 housing choice voucher program is a federally designed housing assistance program that assists low-income individuals and families to find safe communities and affordable housing by reducing rent payments and thereby enabling them to remain housed. There are a lot of houses for rent by landlords accepting the Section 8 housing choice voucher program and people can select one of these houses that matches their living standards and income criteria.
There are various websites associated with Section 8 house renting that you can avail to make ends meet. Low-income communities in America afford rent payments by becoming qualified for the program. Eligible candidates living in Section 8 rental housing will find a lot of options to choose from apartments and home rentals to single-family homes and condominiums. This guide will throw light on how you can find houses for rent by the owner accepting the Section 8 program.
Highlights of this Post
What Is Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program?
The HUD or the Department of Housing and Urban Development makes sure low-income individuals and families have a safe and secure place to live by providing rental support to the Section 8 voucher program.
Families and individuals belonging to the low-income category can qualify for rental vouchers and use the vouchers to find suitable housing opportunities in the private market. Candidates need to pay only 30% of their monthly income towards rent and utilities whereas the remaining will be covered by HUD.
The program is geared towards low-income families that help them to overcome homelessness and poverty. It is one of the most popular rental subsidy programs designed for poor tenants in America. The program assists tenants in finding suitable living accommodations that they could not afford from their pocket. While the program is funded by HUD, public housing authorities throughout the state administer the program including the eligibility criteria.
Who Is Eligible For Section 8 Housing Voucher?
To qualify for the Section 8 housing choice voucher program individuals need to fulfill the following eligibility criteria
Citizenship or Eligible Immigration Status
To be eligible for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program candidates need to be a citizen of the United States or be a legal immigrant. If you’re a non-citizen you need to prove that you have a valid resident card or green card and documents proving your legal presence in the United States.
Applicants need to have income within the income bracket as determined by their local public housing authorities. Generally, candidates need to have income within 30% to 50% of the median income in their area to qualify for the Section 8 housing choice voucher program.
Main priority is given to renters who are earning less than 30% of the area median income and belong to extremely low-income groups. Every Public Housing Authority has different criteria when it comes to income limitation based on household size, area residence and household income.
Eviction History And Background Check
Applicants should make sure they have a positive rental history as candidates who have been evicted previously from public housing due to drug-related or criminal activities will be disqualified from receiving assistance. The background checks are also considered for participants before giving them Section 8 vouchers. Based on your rental history, criminal background and credit score, public housing authorities will determine whether you are eligible to receive assistance.
The Section 8 housing choice voucher program is administered by public housing authorities and every authority gives preference to a specific group of individuals for instance elderly or disabled individuals, veterans or military members, homeless individuals or low-income families with children. If you belong to any one of these groups you can receive priority in the housing application procedure of the Section 8 voucher program.
It is important to keep in mind that the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher is not an emergency rental assistance program and it may take weeks or months to qualify for assistance. The program comes with a long waiting list and only one in four people receive actual assistance through the program.
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How To Apply For Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program?
- Interested applicants need to apply at their local public housing or visit the official HUD website to get started with the voucher program.
- The next step is to download the PDF containing contact information of public housing authorities in every county
- Submit Section 8 housing choice voucher application to verify your eligibility and provide proof of documents.
- Wait patiently if you have been placed on a waiting list and follow up with your local Housing Authority. The waiting time may vary from a few days to weeks, however it takes several months or even years to receive assistance through the program.
Following is the list of documents that you need to submit to the public housing authorities to ascertain your eligibility.
- Citizenship proof or eligible immigration documents
- State government-issued IDs, birth certificates, passport, driver’s license
- Proof of your personal and income-related information such as inheritance, scholarships, alimony and income.
- Social Security number of applicants and other household members.
- Details of your current and previous landlord to determine your rental history as a tenant.
- Employee verification details and income proof in form of bank statements, pay stubs etc.
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Is There A Waiting List For Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program?
The federally funded Section 8 housing choice program offers housing assistance to eligible low-income individuals and families throughout the United States of America. It is one of the most popular and demanded programs therefore it comes with a long waiting list and stringent eligibility criteria.
The federal government allocates a specific amount of financial support every year and distributes the funding among applicants who can meet the criteria. If you are on a waiting list you can reach the top of the list by contacting your Public Housing Authority and letting them know of any special circumstances.
Public housing authorities give special preferences to very low-income groups, veterans, homeless and displaced individuals or those who are elderly or disabled. A long waiting list can be discouraging however Public Housing Authority staff will review your eligibility and can make recommendations within a short period if you’re going through a housing crisis.
Giving proof of your special circumstances in the form of documented medical conditions will help speed up the application procedure and will fetch you a voucher.
Ways to Find Houses That Accepts Section 8 Vouchers
Once you get the assistance by Section 8, it is time for you to search for landlords or houses with owners that accept section 8 vouchers. We are mentioning some easiest ways that can help you in finding houses for rent by owners who accept the section 8 vouchers.
Visit the HUD Website
One of the most vital tasks is to find out the landlords and private owners who are accepting the section 8 housing vouchers. You can try visiting the official HUD website where you can check out the exact locations of the rental houses that accept the section 8. The website is very genuine and authentic and will provide you with apartments and houses that accept Section 8 vouchers.
Visit the Local Housing Websites
You can also visit the official website of the local housing authority. It will be very much beneficial for you if you are looking for houses and apartments in the city or county area. Once you visit their official websites you can easily communicate with the landlords or private owners of the houses who are accepting section 8. You can also clear all your doubts with them by communicating.
Search in Facebook Groups
Facebook groups can be another great option to find out better ideas and information about houses and apartments that accept section 8. You can also find different types of housing related groups in facebook and instagram where you find a lot of information about house owners that accept section 8. You can easily find some facebook groups with names like housing assistance, real estate or section 8 houses and apartments for rent. These groups can help you a lot in finding houses and apartments that accept section 8.
Contact Local Churches
You can also try searching for local churches in your area that offer help to the needy and low income families. You can also find houses and apartments through them that accept section 8 vouchers. It is also important for you to keep your eyes open as you can find many advertisements on houses that accept section 8 in local newspapers and bulletin boards.
The best thing about churches is that they have a lot of information and they can help you with contacts that can help you out. The contacts can help you with affordable housing and will further make your application process flawless.
Search in Local Area
You can also try searching houses in your local area that accept Section 8. The Section 8 program is easily available in most of the cities, states and counties. You can also visit the website of the association of realtors to know more about the houses that accept the section.
Visit Online Websites
While choosing Section 8 housing you need to check with online rental websites. You will come across websites that post rental listings that are dedicated to Section 8 housing. Make sure to read the reviews of the rental websites and trust signature companies that have been around for a while. Online resources like Zillow, Craigslist, and Trulia have search filters that will enable you to locate properties that accept Section 8 vouchers.
Network With Your Family Members And Friends
You can let your family members and friends know about your search for Section 8 or rental properties and they can help you with valuable references or connections from people they know who are renting out their units to Section 8 voucher holders.
How To Rent From A Private Landlord Who Accepts Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program?
Renting from private landlords who accept the Section 8 housing voucher is an amazing option for low-income individuals and families that enables them to live in decent, low cost and safe housing. It is necessary to be well prepared and informed while renting from a private landlord and make the following considerations.
Become Aware Of The Eligibility Criteria
While searching for Section 8 rental properties make sure you know the eligibility criteria for the program. In other words, you need to make sure you have household income below the income threshold and meet other criteria like background checks and citizenship status. You need to search for a property that meets the quality and health standards required by the HUD.
Know Your Rights As A Tenant
As a tenant participating in the Section 8 housing choice voucher program, you need to know your rights as determined by the federal government. In other words, you need to know the fair treatment during the Section 8 application procedure, equal accessibility to rental housing opportunities and protection of individuals against discrimination based on sex, religion, color, disability, national origin or race.
Review The Lease Agreement Carefully
While entering into a lease agreement with a private landlord who accepts the Section 8 housing choice voucher program it is important to review the terms and conditions of the lease carefully. Make sure you know your duties and responsibilities as a tenant for instance paying rent on time and maintaining the housing unit in good condition.
Finding houses or apartments for rent by the owner or landlord accepting Section 8 near you may seem like a stressful and daunting task however it is not an impossible feat. With the right knowledge, determination and right resources it is easy for you to find a perfect rental house that meets your budget and needs.
Communicate Properly And Follow The Program Guidelines
It is necessary to have clear and open communication with your landlord so that both know what to expect from one another. Being a recipient of the Section 8 program you also need to fulfill the guidelines set by HUD such as reporting any changes made to your income or family size, occupancy limits and maintaining compliance with the housing quality standards.
Recommended: What is Maximum Section 8 income?
Renting a house for low-income families is a tremendous burden. Fortunately, the federal government has designed the Section 8 housing choice voucher program and eligible tenants have to pay the subsidized rental rate. You can apply for the Section 8 housing choice voucher program and find Section 8 apartments and houses to rent if you are struggling financially. You can also apply for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program.
Frequently Asked Question
How can I find houses and apartment owners that accept the Section 8 program?
There are various ways to find houses and apartments owners and landlords that accept the Section 8 program. You can try visiting the HUD website, contact your local authority, visit rental websites, search in facebook groups, contact a local church etc.
Are there any waiting lists for the Section 8 program?
Once you are eligible for the section 8 housing choice vouchers, it does not guarantee that you will get the houses instantly. There is a lot of demand for section 8 housing vouchers but the government has limited resources. It is not possible for the government to help out everyone at a time.
What portion of the rent money is offered to the landlords or private owners?
There are some major factors that determine the rent payment. The housing assistance is generally calculated using the median income of the area and it is less than the area’s payment method. The 30 percent of the family’s adjusted income is calculated as rent through the section 8 program.
What will happen if I move and I am already receiving the benefits of the Section 8 program?
Section 8 housing program can be used by those people who move without losing their housing assistance. However, when you move it is important for you to inform the local public housing agency. They will guide you in ending your lease contract and then you can easily continue with your section 8 assistance.