SEC 8 PKT - Onlinepacket.org - Section 8 and Subsidized Housing

What is HUD?

The Section 8 Program was authorized by Congress in 1974 and developed by HUD to provide rental subsidies for eligible tenant families (including single persons) residing in newly constructed, rehabilitated and existing rental and cooperative apartment projects.

How can I apply for a rental assistance program?

You must first find a housing authority that is accepting applications. The process is completely free and you can only apply through your local housing authority online or in person.

The rents of some of the residential units are subsidized by HUD under the Section 8 New Construction ("New Construction"), Substantial Rehabilitation ("Substantial Rehabilitation") and/or Loan Management Set-Aside ("LMSA") Programs. All such assistance is "project-based", i.e.; the subsidy is committed by HUD for the assisted units of a particular Mortgaged Property for a contractually determined period.
The Section 8 and Subsidized Housing Online Packet (SEC 8 PKT) is an information retrieval service designed to help it's members find various grant and rental assistance programs. The Online Packet also ads a social aspect to the experience. The Online Packet has no government affiliation. The application process for any government subsidized program is completely free.

What is Section 8 housing?
The Housing Authority administers the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program under contract with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program enables very-low income families to obtain decent, safe, and affordable rental housing on the private market.  The Housing Authority currently assists over 1800 very-low income households with Section 8 rental assistance city wide.

The HA uses the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) System to view employment information, wages, unemployment compensation and social security benefit information for any member of an assisted household, at any point in time. In order to complete a Section 8 application, applicants must first find a housing authority that is accepting applications, or what is called, an open section 8 waiting list. The program also identifies families that may have substantially under reported their household income.

The housing authority will use the EIV system for each reexamination that is processed by your Housing Representative.  The EIV system does not eliminate the need for the housing authority to obtain additional information about your income, however.  We still might need third-party employment verifications (for example) completed by your employer. 

It is more important than ever to report all of your changes of family income and household composition within ten (10) days.  The EIV system allows the HA to verify your hire date and income information for all household members.  Don’t risk losing your housing assistance.  In order to qualify and apply for Section 8, applicants must earn less than the income limits established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

How often can I apply for housing?

Each housing authority essentially runs their own rental assistance programs like Section 8 and Public Housing. That particular housing authority decides when to open or close their various waiting lists. For the most part, one could expect for a Section 8 waiting list to open once every 4 or 5 years. There are only so many vouchers available for each city. If you want to apply for Section 8 online or in person, check with your local housing authority and find out what areas have open waiting lists. Just because one city is closed, another one might be open. However, it depends on the preferences of the housing authority in question as to whether or not you can participate in their housing programs. The Section 8 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.

A particular state may have as many as 20 housing authorities. Some believe that a Centralized Waiting List would make more sense and alleviate confusion with better efficiency. In Massachusetts, a centralized Section 8 waiting list opened on January 6, 2003 in accordance with provisions contained in the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended. Ninety-Nine (99) Massachusetts housing authorities utilize this one computerized list; all applicant information entered onto this list can be accessed and updated by any and all participating housing authorities. Section 8 waiting list information is secure and accessed only by authorized housing authority staff with special login codes. The open section 8 waiting list is updated at least every two (2) years. For more info, contact the Massachusetts PHA.

Participating Housing Authorities are accepting applications for the Centralized Waiting List at each location. Applicants need apply to only one of the participating housing authorities. (See more info on how to obtain a Section 8 application online). The housing authorities have not been issued any additional Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers; vouchers will be issued based on turnover. For more information on the housing choice voucher program, visit the U.S. Department of HUD’s web site.

Is there more than one housing authority?

The length of each section 8 waiting list may vary greatly. In San Fransisco for example, the waiting list is about 9 years long. In 2007 in St. Louis, MO the demand to get a place on the waiting list for Section 8 vouchers was so great, people rushed the front door. Police stepped in to disperse the crowd. “We had to close the thing down because there were too many people,” said Cheryl Lovell, executive director of the housing authority. People really do need to apply for section 8 online instead of showing up in person. “Lots of people want the assistance,” she added. “A lot of people need it.” Over 8,000 names eventually landed on the waiting list that week in 2007. Now, seven years later, the application pool has nearly dried up. The housing authority announced Thursday that a one-week window to pre-register for the income-based rental assistance program will open again July 14. The agency has been planning for the event for months in hopes to avoid some of the previous struggles. The main difference will be an online option. Applications can be submitted 24 hours a day at slha.org. “We don’t want to have people wait in line at our building to apply,” Lovell said. “We want them to do it at their convenience.” The housing authority expects more applicants this time around, perhaps 10,000. No new vouchers were issued from the middle of 2012 through 2013 for a section 8 application because of funding cuts.

Section 8 is one of many government subsidized housing programs for low-income people and those with disabilities. Recipients pay 30 percent of their income in rent; the government pays the remainder directly to the landlord. Renters find their own housing from a list of properties in the community that meet the standards of the program. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds the program; local housing authorities manage it on the ground. Lovell said Congress ultimately decides the speed of getting through the waiting list.


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Apply for Section 8 in Atlanta, Georgia

Looking for more info about how to apply for Section 8 and other government rental assistance programs?

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