The Section 8 Program is an initiative under the purview of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program aims to provide access to safe, clean, and affordable housing for very low-income families, those who are elderly, and those who are disabled. The housing choice voucher program is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments.
The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects.
A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family's present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the PHA.
If you think you meet the requirements for Section 8 in your area, you can apply for help. You can get an application and apply in-person at a PHA. Also, some states allow you to apply online. If you apply online, you can complete the application in a few simple steps and avoid waiting in lines. Your local PHA will determine whether you qualify for Section 8, based on a few different factors. The four main criteria for eligibility are household requirements, income requirements, citizenship requirements, and rental history requirements. Once approved for your Section 8 voucher, you have 60 days to find an appropriate rental unit and submit a Request for Tenancy Approval. If you have trouble finding a rental unit, the PHA has the authority to extend this deadline.