The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is a rental assistance program subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The program is a administered nationwide by HUD housing authorities for low income individuals and families. To qualify for Section 8 your total household income should not be more than 50 percent of the national average median. To qualify for the program, you are required to have full-time employment, however, you may still qualify for Section 8 if you are not working but are recieving unemployment, Social Security or public assistance.
Visit your local public housing authority, or the housing authority in the location where you would like to live, to apply. Fill out the application, along with all required documents. You must provide information for all household residents and proof of income. Have ready your state issued photo ID, birth certificates and Social Security cards for all members of your household. If you are not working, you are required to bring in proof that you are receiving unemployment benefits, Social Security or public assistance (usually a letter from your case worker or case number). You may also submit bank statements that show proof of these deposits. If you qualify you will be placed on the waiting list. Apply at more than one agency-- waiting lists are typically long.
Wait to be contacted by a public housing case manager when your name is selected to receive a housing voucher. Provide proof of current household income and expenses. Keep in mind that unearned income (unemployment compensation, welfare. social security, ssi etc.) will not affect your eligibility. However to participate in the Section 8 program you must enter into a "Contract of Participation" with the Public Housing Authority, agreeing to seek and maintain employment, based on a timeline, unique to your specific case. As of 2011, each qualifying family is responsible to pay 30 percent of their gross monthly income towards the cost of rent. Your monthly payments are calculated based on family size, earned income, utility expenses and rental payment. In the case where there is no earned income, your monthly rental amount is calculated on a case by case basis. Your case manager will explain the procedures and provide you with a charter for your reference.
Contact your public housing authority case manager when you gain employment or your income changes. Section 8 policy requires that you maintain full time employment and notify the agency if you are terminate from your current job. If employment is not obtained within 30 days after your previous job has ended, you may be removed from the section 8 program. You must wait four years to reapply after being removed from the Housing Choice Program.