The Section 8 program in Maryland is offered to low income residents who need assistance obtaining affordable, decent and safe housing. Seniors, the disabled and the homeless are given priority for affordable housing, as well as women who are pregnant, or households that have very young children.
In MD, the local housing authority is in charge of distributing housing vouchers to qualified applicants for various participating apartments and homes within the county. Funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, the low income house rentals program is managed by each individual county in Maryland to better meet the needs of the area.
Low income housing is available to qualified tenants as long as there are available openings. Currently, the state of Maryland has 25 housing authorities, and just over half of the counties still having openings on their waiting lists. Find out more about the MD public housing program by reading through the topics below:
- Section 8 Eligibility in Maryland
- How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Maryland
- Information about Section 8 Waiting Lists in Maryland
- Section 8 Denials in Maryland
Section 8 Eligibility in Maryland
What are the requirements for Section 8? Low income housing eligibility depends on a few different factors, including:
- Income level.
- Citizenship status.
- Background check results.
The first question most potential applicants ask themselves are, “Do I qualify for public housing in MD?” Potential applicants should be aware that all members of the household must meet the requirements for affordable housing eligibility for the application to be approved. Meeting key income restrictions is one of the main criteria.
What are the qualifications for low income housing in Maryland? Combined income levels of the household must fall below 30 percent of the median annual household income for the area where the applicant resides. Additionally, at least one member of the household must be a U.S. citizen in order to meet low income housing eligibility.
All household members must live with the applicant full time, as well as prove in-county residency. In addition, all adult household members older than 18 must submit their Social Security Number, income information, and list of assets. Any additional government aid that is being received must also be reported.
Once eligibility is established, applicants often ask, “What do I need to apply for Section 8 in Maryland?” Aside from the HUD application, the applicant will need to gather evidential documentation such as:
- Birth certificates.
- Tax returns.
- Banking information.
- Voter’s registration cards.
- Driver’s licenses.
Section 8 eligibility in MD is also dependent on the applicant and all household members passing a background check. Any criminal offenses, including but not limited to felonies, convictions, in particular those pertaining to drugs, alcohol, or sexual offenses, will not be considered qualified candidates.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Maryland
To register for Section 8 housing program assistance in any Maryland county, applicants must first complete and submit the HUD low housing application. The public housing application consists of three pages, including a cover sheet, a pre-interview document, and the actual application.
All three pages must be filled out completely and accurately, as false information or incomplete applications may result in denial. Most PHA offices have agents available to assist applicants fill out their forms.
Many Maryland counties offer an online application for low income housing which can be printed and filled out manually. All applications must be submitted by mail or in person as digital submissions are not available at this time.
After submission, candidates must wait at least two weeks for processing, after which applicants can check status for affordable housing application forms by contacting the local housing authority in person, by phone or via email. Applicants who need assistance or want to learn how to sign up for low income housing in their area can visit the local housing authority office for help.
Information About Section 8 Waiting Lists in Maryland
The Maryland Section 8 housing program application waiting list varies by county. Variations are due in large part to the fluctuating availability of qualified housing and participating landlords. The housing authority in each county maintains the low income housing waiting list for their area.
The Maryland low income housing waiting list in Maryland has vacancies for qualified applicants in certain counties. Applicants who are eligible for housing should check waiting list status for public housing within a few weeks of the application’s submission to find out where the household has been placed on the list.
When will the Section 8 waiting lists open in an eligible candidate’s county? Once someone has left the program or more housing is made available, applicants whose names appear at the top of the list will be contacted.
Section 8 Denials in Maryland
Applicants who receive a Section 8 denial letter still have options. First, the applicant should read the letter to determine what are the reasons for affordable housing denial and if there is any basis or merit in the denial. Low income housing disqualifications can occur for many reasons. Often, applicants did not follow the instructions completely and the application was deemed incomplete.
In instances such as these, an affordable housing denial appeal should be undertaken within a couple of weeks of receipt of the denial letter. Waiting until later will result in a dismissal of the appeal.
If the denial letter indicates that the applicant or a household member did not pass the background check, then the applicant must produce evidence to the contrary. However, applicants or household members with a criminal record, a history of drug or alcohol abuse, or a negative report from a former HUD housing landlord will not be considered for reapplication.
Applicants wanting to know what to do if low income housing application was denied can contact the local housing authority for assistance. A public housing agent can discuss the applicant’s rights and teach him or her how to appeal Section 8 denial.
If the applicant believes that the ruling has been in error, then he or she can file for an appeal at the local housing authority where the form was submitted. A review board convenes, and the updated or completed application will be reexamined for admissibility.
Website: Local Offices.