When rent becomes too tough to pay on a timely basis, the government can swoop in and save the day with a Housing Choice Voucher.
This low-income housing voucher was previously referred to as the Section 8 program, and it helps keep roofs over the heads of those in need.
With that out of the way, let’s look at some frequently asked questions on vouchers to give you a better idea of how they work.
Who Runs the Housing Choice Vouchers Program?
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) holds the funds for the vouchers program, which are distributed to local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs).
What Is the Purpose of Low-Income Housing Vouchers?
The Housing Vouchers Program was created to give families in need safe, affordable housing when their income is below a certain threshold.
While rental assistance depends on several factors, vouchers were intended to help families earning less than 50 percent of the median income for a particular location.
How Do You Start the Application Process for a Housing Choice Voucher?
Since you will be dealing with your local PHA, you will have to contact them first.
Next, contact your PHA to set up an appointment to go over your situation and begin filling out the voucher application. During the call, your housing counselor should let you know what to expect and the necessary documents to bring.
What Does a Voucher Application Ask?
You will be asked basic information on the people living in your household, as well as income, assets, monthly expenses, and the like. You will also be asked about any history of evictions or criminal convictions.
As you fill out your application, do not lie or omit any information, even if you think it will lead to disqualification. Your counselor will guide you through the process and do everything possible to make your case worthy of approval.
What Happens If Your Voucher Application Gets Denied?
You can appeal a denial by explaining why you should be accepted.
For instance, if a past eviction led to your application being denied, you can state that it happened several years ago. You can bolster your argument by saying you’ve had a solid payment history since then.
What Happens Once Your Voucher Application Gets Accepted?
If accepted, you will be put on the waiting list. It could take you months or years to finally get a voucher, so be prepared for a long wait.
You could move closer to the front of the line if any of the following apply:
- You are homeless.
- You are paying more than 50 percent of your income towards rent costs.
- You are living in substandard housing.
Can You Move Wherever You Want with a Voucher?
The HUD sets standards for rental units where vouchers can be used. Your PHA can give you a list of such units, and an inspector will have to ensure the unit you’d like to move into is suitable.
If the housing you chose passes the test, you will be asked to sign a 12-month lease. Once the 12 months are over, the contract can convert to month-to-month.
Do You Receive Voucher Funds Directly?
Voucher funds are sent directly to your landlord. You must pay any remaining rent costs on your own.