Why You Need Patience When Applying For Section 8
When applying for Section 8 assistance, you must be prepared for the long wait. Why? This federal assistance program has a lot more applications that it can afford to approve right away, and because of this, they usually place you on a waiting list when you apply.
How long your wait will also depend on the local public housing authorities' (PHA) preferences or prioritizing. What does this mean? Some of the local housing authorities develop local inclinations for moving applications up and even down the waiting list. In most cases, some offices may give preference to families who are living in substandard housing, currently homeless, involuntarily displaced families, households who pay more than 50% of their wages in rent. You may contact your local PHA if you have any inquiries about how prioritizing is granted.
There will be times that local PHAs have more applicants than they can assist in the near future. If this happens, they will usually stop accepting applications temporarily. Closing the applications for waiting lists may not be permanent but it is best to search for other areas where you can apply for Section 8 housing.
Duties When You Get Approved
Your application got approved? If you are planning to stay where you are currently living and they accept housing vouchers, make sure that the unit fits HUD health and safety requirements. Same thing goes if you are planning to move to a different unit. Here are the things they usually check:
- running water
- sanitation systems
- suitable thermal controls
- structural integrity
- the absence of toxic building materials
Renting? You will be required to sign one year of the lease with the property owner. The property owner will then be committed to both you and the local PHA to provide secure housing and fair rent. You as the tenant will then be required to pay the rent on time, keep the unit in good condition, and follow the terms of the lease. There are cases that failure to pay the rent on time may result in the Section 8 assistance getting revoked.
Under Section 8 housing, your household will pay 30% of your gross income toward housing and utilities. The remainder of the cost will be covered by your voucher. Your local PHA can assist you in calculating how much your household needs to budget each month. Note that there will be a limit to how much your housing voucher can cover depending on the area you live in.
Did you know that Section 8 vouchers can help you purchase your home? By acquiring a home loan that is below-market interest rates, the Section 8 voucher can be used for the mortgage as credit. For more information regarding this, contact your local housing authority.
Remember not to commit any type of fraud. Doing so can result in your Section 8 assistance getting terminated.