Individuals and families that fall under the low-income bracket may be eligible for relief offered by the Section 8 Assistance Program. The program is now referred to as the Housing Choice Vouchers, and below we will be telling you what the program entails and how you may be able to benefit from it.
What is the Housing Choice Vouchers Program?
Low-income families, senior citizens, and disabled individuals are assisted by this federal government program wherein they are offered a means of living in private market homes that are clean, safe, and decent. This program allows families or individuals to select their own homes, whether it is a townhouse, a single-family home, or an apartment.
How Do Housing Vouchers Function?
Public Housing Agencies administer housing vouchers on a local level because the agencies are awarded funds by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Once a family is issued a housing voucher, they are responsible for finding a home of their choice, albeit the dwelling has to meet the standards set out by the PHA regarding health and safety measures.
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The home that is selected is then rented from the owner that participates in the program, and the PHA is responsible for paying the landlord the housing subsidy on behalf of the family that participates in the program. Essentially, the family will then pay whatever difference there is between the rental charge from the landlord and the subsidized amount.
The Housing Choice Vouchers Program is a rental assistance program, but in some scenarios, PHAs may authorize families to use their vouchers for buying a property of their choice.
Will I Have To Wait?
The HUD has limited resources with which to run the Housing Choice Vouchers Program, and the demand has never been higher for assistance. It is not uncommon to see extended waiting periods after applying for the program. Some PHAs even close their waiting lists due to the fact that they have more families waiting on their lists than can actually be assisted within a reasonable time.
Then there is also the case of preferences. PHAs can make local preferences from their waiting lists, depending on how urgent the need is and what circumstances the family currently resides in. The Housing Choice Vouchers Program is a waiting game that all gets determined by the urgency of your application and current situation.
PHAs determine eligibility by your family’s size and annual gross income. Furthermore, the program is only available to U.S. citizens and those who have an immigration status that qualifies them for assistance. Only families that earn less than 50% of the median income of their county or metro may apply for assistance. Eligibility is also determined by your family’s assets and composition.
How to Apply
You need to contact your local Public Housing Agency in order to apply for the Housing Choice Vouchers Program. You may also contact your local HUD office if you have any other queries relating to the program.
We hope that this has shown you the potential benefit of applying for the Housing Choice Vouchers Program, and also provided you with enough information to help you follow the right steps in order to apply for assistance with the program.