What You Need to Know about Federal Housing Section 8

Thursday, April 11, 2013, 1:00 AM | Leave Comment

The Housing Act of 1937, or simply called Section 8, is the US housing program that states the government can provide assistance to low income households in paying the rent. The Housing Act has many components, but the best known is the Housing Choice Voucher or Section 8. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is responsible for Section 8.

  • Overview

    Section 8 is designed to provide low income tenants from moving from their current home to another, decent, and reasonably priced home.

    Those who have successfully applied for the program can use the voucher that will be provided for them to help pay for the rent or purchase.

    The term Section 8, by the way, is used because the law that was used to make the program is in Section 8 of the Housing Act of 1974.

    At the Housing Choice Voucher Program, you are given a limited time to choose a home that is being provided by a landlord via the voucher issued by your local PHA or HUD.

    It goes without saying that the house you choose has to meet the standards set by the federal and state standards.

  • Important Rules of Section 8

    Under the Section 8 program, families who avail of the program have to spend 30% of their combined income monthly to pay for the rent and utilities.

    But the law forbids new admissions and those who are moving to a new house to spend more than 40% of their income monthly to pay for rent.

    The subsidy amount that the government has to pay via Section 8 is calculated by utilizing the gross rent (not counting the entire tenant payment).

    The program also states that the rental fees cannot be more expensive than the other units in the city.

    To prevent abuse on the part of the landlord, the HUD regularly checks the rent market price in the area to make sure the landlord is not asking for too high a price.

  • About Rent and Income

    Those who want to apply for Section 8 have to understand how income is calculated here. Income refers to the total amount of cash that your family receives every month.

    The income counted is from the money you and your spouse earn as well as any money earned by a family member who is over 18 years old. The income also includes those you make from assets.

    In some cases such as when the subsidy pay is higher than the contract rent, and your family is paying for the utility bill, you will get a check to pay for the utilities.

    It must also be pointed out that the program is going to verify your family’s source of income. In addition, these records will be subject to reviews every so often.

    It is essential that you submit truthful information when you apply, as all information will be reviewed and checked.

    In addition, local housing agencies employ fraud investigators to look into suspicious cases.

    Finally, the calculations will vary per state, and it will be reviewed and changed if the number of family members living in the house changes.

Before you apply for the program, check with your local housing authority to get the exact formula they use for it. Cities also use different methods for calculating the payment they provide in relation to the size of the house.

Author BIO

Joshua Lee is a freelance online writer who has devoted several years to researching and writing about the Section 8 program, its tenants and landlords who participate in the program.

Lee is presently living in Saginaw, Michigan. He also writes for http://www.section8application.org/.

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