The housing sector worldwide, particularly in America, is in a state of crisis, with millions of people unable to afford housing that allows them adequate shelter, security, and a sanitary environment within their means explains Maxwell Drever. When people are forced to pay rents above what they can afford, they often make sacrifices regarding their quality of life, nutrition, healthcare, education, and safety. The Section 8 voucher program funded by the Department of Urban Housing and Development and administered by the various local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) is among the main ways of addressing the problem. An overview of how the program works:
The Section 8 Voucher Program
The Section 8 voucher program benefits low-income individuals and families seeking rental accommodation, however, it is important to understand how it works. Applicants can seek out an apartment, townhouse, or even a single-family home in the private market that meets the requirements of Section 8 housing, including the different health and safety standards set out by the PHA. The rent payable is a maximum of 30% of the renter’s income. The landlord gets the balance in the form of subsidy vouchers issued by HUD, says Maxwell Drever.
Section 8 Program Eligibility
To be eligible for housing under Section 8. you must be an American citizen or have an immigration status considered eligible. Additionally, your income must qualify under the norms applicable in your area. Set by the local PHA that considers the median income levels and the cost of local housing. The targeted beneficiaries of the Section 8 program are those in poverty, the elderly, and the disabled. The Federal government has laid out specific guidelines to determine the eligibility for Section 8 housing. Every year the HUD sets the income limits across three different categories based on the median income of that area.
The local PHA is responsible for allocating at least 75% of the housing vouchers to applicants who don’t exceed 30% of the median income of the area, observes Maxwell Drever. Families earning more than 50% of the area’s median income do not remain eligible. To receive vouchers, applicants should have been evicted for drug-relating offenses in the last three years. Or convicted for producing methamphetamine in an assisted housing project.
Renting Affordable Housing
Once your application is deeming eligible to receive housing vouchers. It can take some time before the PHA issues vouchers to you since there is a long waiting list. And it needs to follow various guidelines regarding the income criteria. However, when you do receive your subsidy vouchers, you can find housing suitable for your needs from private landlords. The PHA advises you regarding the size of the unit. You should be looking out for depending on your family size and composition. Once you finalize a rental agreement with your landlord. The PHA will inspect it and deem the rental amount as reasonable for the enrolment to take place. While the PHA pays a subsidy to the landlord, you will be responsible for paying the difference.
Even though getting accommodation under Section 8 is a protracted affair. It can be well worth it for low-income groups as you can find very decent quality housing units cheaply.