Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program has proved to be an exceptionally effective mechanism for addressing the housing needs of very low-income renters. The program helps very low-income families rent safe, sanitary and decent housing in the private market. Families are responsible for finding their own housing and paying 30% of their adjusted income toward the rent. Section 8 rental assistance makes up the difference between the tenants contribution and the total amount of the rent, bridging the gap between the cost of modest, privately owned rental housing and the amount that families can afford to pay.
Section 8 Voucher holders operate like other renters in the private rental market. Owners of rental units accept Section 8 participants as they would any other tenants seeking rental housing. Like other tenants, Section 8 Voucher holders must meet the Landlords screening criteria, pay a security deposit, pay their portion of the rent on time and abide by the terms and conditions of the lease. Section 8 tenant based assistance offers very low-income families the freedom to choose moderately priced, private rental housing in non-impacted areas.
What Conditions Must Be Met Before a Section 8 Voucher Participant Can Rent?
- The owner of an available unit must not be a parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sister, or brother or other member of the Section 8 family.
- The tenant and owner must submit a signed Request for Tenancy Approval form to the Housing Authority.
- The owner must provide proof of ownership of the unit and must supply copies of paid real estate taxes for the rental unit.
- The contract rent for the unit (the amount the owner wants for rent) can not exceed rents charged by the owner for comparable unassisted units. The rent for the unit must be reasonable in relation to rents charged for comparable units in the private unassisted market.
- The unit must be inspected and meet Housing Quality Standards established by HUD, which are minimal but ensure that the Housing Authority is not subsidizing substandard housing.
- Once the unit passes the Housing Quality Standards inspection, the owner must sign a Housing Assistance Payment contract with the Housing Authority and the owner and tenant must sign a HUD approved lease with the tenant.
Steps Landlords May Take
- Landlords may screen prospective tenants and obtain references from previous landlords.
- Landlords may collect a security deposit from the tenant and review all lease provisions with the tenant.
For more information on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, contact us at 724-775-1220.