Housing Choice Voucher Program Guide

Are you currently struggling with your housing situation? If you find it difficult to find or keep a house right now, then you should not worry. There is a solution from the federal government. Since housing has been a major issue for a couple of years, the federal government tries to combat this issue through welfare programs. One of these programs that can help you with your housing problem is the Housing Choice Voucher Program. This article will tell you everything you need to know about the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) created a welfare program to combat the housing issue. This program is called the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV). You will also find that the Project is referred to as, “Section 8 project-based rental assistance,” “Section 8 assisted living,” or just “Section 8”. The Section 8 Program offers housing vouchers to struggling Americans across the country. This program will help you find a home that you can afford and provide financial relief with housing expenses. There are 4 different factors that determine if you qualify or not.  These factors include income level, family status, eviction history, and citizenship. Make sure to double-check whether you qualify or not. If you do not meet all 4 eligibility requirements, then you will automatically be disqualified from the program. (You can find out online and even apply from their website).

The Section 8 Housing Assistance Program is a welfare program that provides housing vouchers. The Housing and Urban Development Department designed this Program. But, your local Public Housing Agency (PHA) manages the implementation of the Section 8 Program. The recipients get the housing vouchers and select a housing unit they want. If you are a recipient, then you have to confirm that the house you want is participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

How Does The Housing Choice Voucher Program Work?

The Housing Choice Voucher Program works closely with the Public Housing Agency. Their goal is to find housing for low-income families across the United States. You can use your housing voucher on different types of housing units, from single-family homes to studio apartments. You are not limited to choosing from subsidized housing projects. All types of properties are available for you. But, you have to make sure that the property is rented under the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Once you confirm that the landlord is participating in the program, the landlord will receive a subsidy from the program on your behalf. As the tenant, you have to pay the difference between the actual rent and the subsidy.

Eligibility For Housing Choice Vouchers

The most overwhelming part of the process is finding out if you are eligible to receive  housing vouchers or not. With the housing vouchers, your eligibility will depend on 4 things. These 4 things define who you are, what your current situation is, and whether you need help or not. You should keep in mind that priority and immediate assistance from the program falls to  families with the lowest income level. Financial need significantly determines the amount of financial assistance the program will provide and how soon you will receive it. The program designed the eligibility requirements according to the Public Housing Agency’s policies. You will find that the 4 main factors are: family status and size, income level, eviction history, and citizenship.

Family Status Requirement

There are eligibility requirements that your family needs to meet. The Department of Housing and Urban Development provided a definition of a “family”. However, you will find that there is flexibility when it comes to the PHA’s administration of this requirement. Make sure to reach out to your local PHA, so that you can find out if your family qualifies for Section 8 Assistance or not. Additionally, make sure that you double-check the family size requirement, since it varies from one state to another.

Income Level Requirement

Another factor that could determine your eligibility for the program is the income level requirement. The Housing Choice Voucher Program is designed to help low-income individuals and families across the United States find housing units. This means that you and your family’s income needs to remain below a particular threshold. Keep in mind that your family’s income level determines the amount of financial assistance you will receive from the program. As mentioned above, priority and immediate assistance falls for families and individuals that have the lowest income levels.

Eviction History Requirement

In terms of eviction history, if you faced eviction for specific reasons, then you will be automatically disqualified from the program. These reasons include: eviction due to illegal activity or criminal charges for narcotic-related activity and the production of the methamphetamines in a low-income, project-assisted housing property/facility. Additionally, you will not qualify for the program, in the case that you are a registered sex offender. If you were evicted for other reasons, then you can still qualify for the program.

Citizenship Status Requirement

The final eligibility requirement is your citizenship status. American citizens or those who have  credible immigrant status can receive housing vouchers. But, there is a possibility that you can qualify for Section 8 assistance, if you are not an American citizen. You can determine your immigrant status eligibility in  HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Guidebook.

If you are an American citizen, your local public housing authority will:

  • Ask that you sign a declaration stating that you and all members of your HUD-defined “family” are American citizens.
  • Some public housing authorities will also individually check each family member’s citizen status through documentation like a social security card, U.S. passport, and more.

If you have  eligible immigrant status, your local Public Housing Authority (PHA) will:

  • Ask that you sign a declaration stating that you have eligible immigrant status.
  • Have provided Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Documents to verify information with the INS and prove immigration status.
  • • Have you signed a consent form to authorize usage of the information obtained from you.

Pros of Housing Choice Vouchers

There are a lot of advantages, when it comes to housing choice vouchers. The program is very flexible, which means that you can move with your voucher. If you decide to move to another area or another home, then your voucher moves with you. You are not obligated to stay in one place forever. You can have better access to public benefits through your housing case manager. While you are applying for the Section 8 program, you will be notified of other programs that you are eligible for. This means that you can apply to several welfare programs at the same time. These housing vouchers are used for housing units that meet the Housing Quality Standards at all times. This means that you will not move into an unhealthy or dangerous environment, thanks to the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you are financially struggling and you cannot find a decent place to live, then you should think about applying for the Housing Choice Voucher Program. This program provides recipients with housing vouchers that pay a portion of the expenses for housing units. Once you receive the benefits, all you have to do is pay the difference between the actual rent\purchase and the amount of the housing voucher. Additionally, you will also be responsible for paying for the upkeep and maintenance of the housing unit you are in.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development designed this welfare program to provide financial relief to low-income families. You will need to meet the eligibility requirements, in order to qualify for the program and receive a housing voucher. The eligibility requirements are: citizenship, eviction history, and more. You will find that there are advantages to the Section 8 Program, such as more flexibility and increased access to public benefits.