If you are elderly, disabled, or have a low income, you might qualify for the Section 8 Housing Voucher Program. However, not everyone qualifies, and several restrictions do apply. So, it’s important to understand what the eligibility restrictions and requirements are before you apply.
Basic Eligibility for Section 8
Section 8 is restricted to elderly, disabled, and low-income individuals or families. It is also restricted to citizens of the United States and legal non-citizens (those with green cards). So, if you meet those basic requirements, you probably qualify for Section 8.
Exact Income Restrictions
The area median income (AMI) determines who qualifies for section 8. In order to qualify, your family’s income needs to be no more than 50% of the AMI for your general area. If your income is 30% or less of the AMI, you have a better chance of qualifying. That’s because the law states that 75% of all Section 8 Housing Vouchers have to be given to those who make 30% or less of the AMI amount.
In a nutshell, that means that there are no exact income restrictions for Section 8 Housing Vouchers. It all depends on where you live and what your local AMI is. For example, 30% of Boston’s AMI for a single person would be $19,850. However, that number changes to $17,600 for those living in Worcester, Massachusetts. Amounts will vary from state to state and in different parts of each state as well. Amounts will also vary depending on how big your household is. For instance, 30% of the AMI for a family of 4 in Boston is $28,300.
If you are unsure about the AMI in your local area, you can contact your area’s Public Housing Agency (PCA). The PCA gives out Section 8 Housing Vouchers. So, they will be able to tell you what your area’s specific requirements are.
Section 8 and Assets
You might be surprised to know that there are no limits on assets when you are applying for Section 8 Housing Vouchers. It doesn’t matter how much money you have in the bank, or what personal property you own. Only your family’s monthly income matters, at least as far as finances go.
Number of Available Housing Vouchers
The number of available housing vouchers is also a restricting factor. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who could use Section 8 assistance, but there aren’t enough low income homes and vouchers to go around. That means that you should expect to stay on waiting lists for Section 8 Housing Vouchers for quite a while.
Of course, there are some circumstances that could move you to the top of the Section 8 list. However, each PCA office has different exceptions that they look for. Some give preference to domestic violence and disaster victims. Some give preference to those with children. Some give preference to war veterans. For more information on Section 8 eligibility and restrictions, visit http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/topics/housing_choice_voucher_program_section_8.