Section 8 housing and the Housing Choice Voucher Program have helped so many Americans for the past few decades. This is a low-income housing program designed to help those going through hardships afford rent so that they can instead use their money on other necessities like food and electricity.
We have received many questions about low-income housing and whether or not the services are still available. We wanted to get the facts, so we talked to American Hope Resources.
American Hope Resources is an organization with expertise in all American social services and funding. They do everything in their power to provide Hardship Victims with resources and agreed to explain low-income housing in 2022.
So what options do Americans have for rent assistance? Is section 8 still a thing?
American Hope Resources: Yes, section 8 housing still exists. It’s under the name of the Housing Choice Voucher Program. It is available to everyone who meets the income requirements, and there are so many levels to the program.
It has evolved a lot, and the specific policies sometimes change from year to year. However, we believe that it is still a fantastic support system for those that need assistance with their rent.
What are the income requirements? Is it a solid line, or are there a lot of factors that play into the exact number?
American Hope Resources: There are a lot of factors, of course. Rent doesn’t cost the same amount of money everywhere in the US.
A small midwestern city will not cost the same amount of money per month as an apartment in LA.
The housing association looks at everything. Your total yearly income before taxes, your family size, the average cost of rent in your area, everything. We believe that the requirement is fair.
Who gets to choose the apartment? Does the individual choose, or does the government decide?
American Hope Resources: The best part about the program is that the individual chooses their own apartment. The apartment has to meet specific requirements and fall under a certain budget.
A quick summary is that the rental property has to be safe; it has to be a medium-priced rental for the area, reasonably priced, and sanitary. The government will approve and inspect it to ensure that all of these are true.
Once approved, the recipient will sign the lease, and the association and landlord will have their own contract. We have explained this thoroughly on our website at https://americanhoperesources.com/guide-to-low-income-housing-vouchers/.
How easy is it to apply for the Housing Choice Voucher Program? Is there a waiting list or something?
AHR: Exactly, there’s a waitlist. But we have helped a lot of families experiencing hardships, so we know that it’s not impossible to get into the program.
You can apply, and if you meet the requirements, you will be added to the waitlist. Once you’re there, all you can do is wait for a call. How long you wait will vary significantly by your area.
There’s not much you can do to boost your spot on the list, so we recommend applying to your local PHA (Public Housing Association), as soon as you realize you need some help.
Is the section 8 program all or nothing? Is there a way to receive just a portion of the rent payment? Is it worth applying for that?
AHR: Some recipients only receive partial payments for their rent, and they will be responsible for the rest. This is absolutely still worth it.
Having even a portion of your rent paid may mean you can save some money and eventually climb your way out of poverty. For some people, they need that portion paid just to put food on the table. Any amount helps.