The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program provides housing assistance, in the form of Section 8 vouchers, to low-income families. The Section 8 vouchers are used to help the family pay for housing. Local public housing agencies (PHA) administer vouchers based on household income and family size and recipients are free to choose any housing that meets program requirements.
How does one qualify for Section 8?
To be eligible for Housing Choice in Massachusetts you must:
1. Have low or very low income based on annual gross income; the family's income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live.
2. Be in need of decent, safe, and/or sanitary housing.
3. The applicant must meet the documentation requirements of citizenship or eligible immigration status. Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for section 8 housing voucher assistance.
4. Anyone evicted from public housing for drug-related criminal activity are ineligible for assistance for at least 3 years from the date of the eviction.
Steps to Get Section 8 Housing or Section 8 Apartments in Massachusetts
1. Find Public Housing Agency (PHA) in Massachusetts
The Public Housing Voucher is overseen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is administered by local PHAs. Your public housing agency in Massachusetts can help you find and afford low-income housing
2. Determine if you are eligible.
Applicant eligibility is based on both the family size and the total annual gross income. In general, the income may not exceed 50 percent of the area’s Federal Poverty Limit.
Section 8 is only available to US citizens and certain categories of legal immigration status. The public housing agency(PHA) in Massachusetts will help determine if you are eligible for Section 8 Housing.
Public Housing Agencies(PHA) are required to distribute 75% of vouchers to applicants whose income is less than 30% of the median county income
3. Get Section 8 Applications
Housing section 8 applications in Massachusetts are free. It may be available online, by mail or at the local housing authority’s office.
4. Apply for Section 8
Applying for the section 8 is a fairly easy process. During the application process, the PHA will collect information on
- Family Income
- Total Assets
- Family Size
The Public Housing Authority will do income verification and identity verification to check your eligibility. They will verify this information with other local agencies, your employer and bank and determine the amount of the housing assistance payment against section 8 housing list.
5. Find out Section 8 Waiting List in Massachusetts
If the Housing Authority determines that your family is eligible, you will be put on a waiting list, unless it is able to assist you immediately. Once your name is reached on the waiting list, the PHA will contact you and issue to you a payment voucher.
PHAs may give a preference to a family who is
- 1. Homeless or living in substandard housing
- 2. Paying more than 50% of its income for rent
- 3. Involuntarily displaced.
If there is a high demand, remaining eligible section 8 applications are picked based on random lottery. The PHA must provide reasoning for rejection. If an applicants is not happy with rejection can request an informal review.
6. Find Section 8 Housing or Section 8 Apartments in Massachusetts
The section 8 housing choice voucher program allows applicant to pick eligible house or apartment that accept section 8 unit based on family size. Tenants will typically pay 30 percent of their monthly income toward rent.
Once individual find a house or an apartment that accepts housing vouchers it must pass physical inspection. A housing voucher payment goes direct to landlord to pay for the section 8 rental house.
FAQ(Frequently Asked Questions)
1. What is section 8 housing?
The housing choice voucher program is the federal government's program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market.
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.
2. What is a housing voucher
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.
3. What is the most section 8 will pay?
The housing voucher payments cover most of the voucher holder's rent. On average, each household will pay somewhere between 30% and 40% of its income on rent
4. What is counted as income for Section 8?
HUD define income as
- The full amount, before any payroll deductions, of wages and salaries, overtime pay, commissions, fees, tips and bonuses, and other compensation for personal services;
- The net income from the operation of a business or profession.
- the 401(k) money is considered an asset for Section 8 housing.
5. how to get section 8 immediately?
There is a limited funding from the federal government and a shortage of low-income housing units. The process for how to apply is still long, complicated, and time consuming.
6. How long does it take to get Section 8 voucher after interview?
When a PHA in Massachusetts issues a voucher, it give the assisted family at least 60 days to obtain housing. A PHA can extend the time it allots to a family on the based on various factors.