Enlisting for Housing Choice Vouchers

One of the things you need to be prepared for when you want to apply for Section 8 or Housing CHoice Vouchers is the long wait. Because this is a very popular and most sought after federal assistance, many people are applying for it. This is why most people who apply are placed on waiting lists.

In some cases, if your local Public Housing Agency (PHA) has a lot more applicants than they know they can assist in the near future, waiting lists are temporarily closed. Do not let this get you down though, you may still look for different areas where there are open waiting lists. PHAs usually post notices about waiting list openings and how long they will stay open.

Local Public Housing Agencies manage their own housing voucher program and most develop preferences and restrictions. FInd out what these are so that you know whether you can move up faster their waiting list. Some of these preferences include households who were involuntarily displaced, elderly, homeless, households paying over 50% of their income to rent, and others.

Do not commit fraud

Fraud may result in getting your application disapproved or the termination of your Section 8 assistance. You may even get probation, have to return funds, or even be imprisoned. Fraud can be described as any of the following:

  • Transferring income or assets to obtain eligibility.
  • Knowingly eliminating or under-reporting earnings or assets of the household income.
  • Falsifying the number of household members.
  • Falsifying or using counterfeit Social Security documents.
  • Getting compensation on top of Section 8 without informing the appropriate parties.
  • Charging rent to any residents who are living with you.
  • Renting out or subletting part of the unit, or the entire property.

Understand your responsibilities if you get accepted

Local PHA approved your application and provided you with your housing voucher? The next step for you is to make sure that your present or planned living situation fits the health and safety requirements of HUD.

Renting? A one year lease with the cooperating landlord will be signed. Complying with the lease terms, keeping the property in good condition, and paying the rent on time are some of your responsibilities as the tenant. Fail to pay your share of the rent on time and your housing assistance may get revoked.

Housing vouchers can also provide assistance for home loans or actual house purchase. With this, your voucher can also be used to help pay the mortgage. To know more, discuss this option with the PHA representative.

Know your rent responsibility

When you are a beneficiary of the Section 8 housing, the individual or household is required to pay 30% of your gross income on utilities and housing. The housing voucher will cover the rest of the cost. Note however that there is a limit for how much the voucher can cover. To know how much budget you need, you can get assistance in computing for these from a representative at your local housing authority.