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What Is Section 8 Housing?

Section 8 Housing is a federally funded program and helps low income families and individuals live in affordable, yet clean and safe homes. Tenants are required to pay no more than 30% of their income on rent while the rest of the payment is provided by the federal government and is called Fair Market Rent which is set by HUD. The amount that HUD comes up with is determined by the geographic area, the size of the unit, and who is responsible for the utility bills. There is not a limit of time that a person can participate in the Section 8 program.

This program benefits the landlord as well as the tenant. In order to be a landlord in this program, you must follow the HUD quality standards for a clean and safe home. Tenants have to abide by certain rules as well or they lose their assistance. This makes for a good landlord/tenant relationship where low-income families/individuals can live in a clean and safe environment at a price they can afford. Families sign a lease which must be good for at least one year. After that they can sign a new lease or move to a month-to-month tenancy. They do not need to worry about the increasing rent of private properties. On the negative side, because there is no time constraint, people often do not get out of the program so others can also have the opportunity for low-income housing. There has been no means for people to transition off of the government assistance.

How to apply:

To apply for assistance you need to go through your local government's PHA office. The PHA determines if you qualify and for how much. You must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent legal residents. You must not have a criminal record as a background check will be made. You must have a proper identification. Your household income generally should not exceed .5 of the median income level for the U.S. PHA gives preference to the lower-income families which are under .3 of the median income level for the U.S. Once you have been accepted into the program you will be given a voucher allowance. You may not move into a unit where rent is more than 40% of the family's monthly rental income allowance. The recipient must pay about one third of its monthly gross income towards rent and utilities. They must also let PHA know if there are any changes to their income or the number of their family members.

For the Oregon PHA housing contact information


Darlene's Housing Tips Articles:

What is Section 8 Housing?
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Everything about Home Inspections
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