Section 8 Applicants FAQs

Section 8 Applicants FAQs

What is Section 8?

The Housing Choice Voucher program, also known as the Section 8 program, provides rental assistance (subsidy) for extremely low, very low, and low income households.

How is the Section 8 Program different from Public Housing?

The Public Housing Program provides housing units at specific complexes that have been purchased or renovated using federal funding.

The Section 8 Program provides participants with the ability to seek out housing of their own choice in the private rental market working with individual landlords.

Each program requires a separate application.

What is the Agency Owned/Managed Housing Program?

The Agency Owned/Managed Housing Program consists of numerous apartment buildings that the Area Housing Authority has either purchased or is managing. The rents in these units are usually below the market rate rents for the area. In addition, Agency Owned/Managed units accepts the Section 8 Voucher, thus, increasing the number of housing options available to Voucher-holders.

Who can qualify for Section 8?
Program participants must meet specific income eligibility requirements. Please refer to the Income Limits. In addition, all participants must be legally residing in the US and agree to criminal background check.
How long is the waiting list?
The length of time it takes for an applicant to receive assistance varies greatly depending on HUD requirements, funding available, and local preferences. With this understanding, it is not uncommon for a household to wait anywhere from several months to several years, however, there is no way of knowing exactly how long it will take for an individual household to receive assistance.
Why am I on the waiting list so long?
Due to the extreme need in this area, there are many more households applying for assistance than there are vouchers available. The Area Housing Authority is authorized to issue a maximum of 2532 vouchers, if sufficient funding is available. As voucher-holders become more self-sufficient or their personal situation changes, they move off the program and applicants from the waiting list are then interviewed for program eligibility. On average the Housing Authority issues only a few new vouchers per month.
How is rental assistance provided?
The Housing Authority calculates the amount of assistance each household receives. The level of assistance is based upon family size and income. A household is expected to pay approximately 30% of their current income toward their rent. Each month the Housing Authority will make housing assistance payments directly to the landlord for the balance of the rent.
Who finds the rental units?
Program participants are issued a Voucher for their rental subsidy, and are responsible for finding their own housing. The Area Housing Authority has a list of units that accept Section 8 Vouchers. The list is compiled through the voluntary efforts of local landlords and does not reflect all potential landlords. The Rental List may be downloaded here or picked up in our lobby.
What are the tenant’s responsibilities?
Tenant responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Finding a suitable unit
  • Upholding the terms of the lease
  • Contacting the Area Housing Authority with any changes in family size or income
  • Maintaining the unit in a livable condition and contacting the landlord with problems
  • Paying all deposits and security fees
  • Providing the Housing Authority with documents and information in a timely manner
What documents will I need to provide at my interview?
The following is a partial list of documents that you will need to provide. Our Eligibility Department will provide you with a complete list, based on your personal situation, at your initial briefing.

  • Tax returns
  • Proof of citizenship or legal alien status
  • Social Security Card (for all members of the
  • household, as applicable)
  • Income verification documents including
    1. Social Security and Disability Benefits
    2. Unemployment Benefits
    3. Retirement Benefits
  • Asset information including
    1. Bank statements
    2. Retirement accounts
    3. Real Property