Frequently Asked Questions

Recertifying Your Section 8 Eligibility

Yes, Section 8 tenants can have a roommate but only if they qualify for Section 8 as well. If you would like to add someone to your voucher, you must contact the PHA where you applied and ask them for their instructions on the process. If you have a roommate living with you that isn’t on your voucher and Section 8 finds out, your voucher could be terminated by the PHA.

Can my Boyfriend Live with Me While on Section 8?

Like with roommates, a boyfriend can live with you only if they qualify Section 8 as well. To be placed on the same voucher, both of your incomes will be evaluated and must meet income requirements to be approved. Contact the PHA where you applied to ask for instructions on the process.

Does Section 8 Look at Tax Returns?

A tax return form is one of the documents that the PHA accepts as income verification because it can be used to estimate your income for the next few months. So, yes, the PHA may check out your tax returns to verify your income received from employment or businesses.

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Section 8 Rules on Getting Married

If you decide to get married while in the Section 8 program, you will need to inform your PHA and will be required to send in the necessary documentation, such as ID, birth certificate, social security, income and more. The PHA will then evaluate your case and verify if you still qualify, taking into account changes in income and family size. You may be required to pay a higher percentage of your rent or may be suggested to apply to another program. Failure to inform the PHA of any changes in your household can result in the termination of your housing voucher.

Can Section 8 Tenants Be Charged Late Fees?

If the portion of the rent that is late is the portion of the rent you, as tenant, are responsible for, you may be required by your landlord to pay a late fee. This depends on what was stipulated in the lease agreement. If the portion of the rent that is late is the portion the PHA covers, you will not be charged late fees. It is important to know that a tenant cannot be evicted due to not paying late fees.

Does Section 8 Pay Security Deposits?

Unfortunately, Section 8 doesn’t cover security deposits, but you could ask around for non-profits or local charities that may be able to help you. There are some Section 8 qualified homes that don’t require a security deposit, so make sure to ask your PHA is any are available in your area.

The HUD Public Housing Program

Many people confuse the Public Housing Program with the Section 8 Housing Voucher program because of its similarities. This program, like the Section 8 Housing Voucher program, is overseen by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has very similar eligibility requirements and application process, and are focused on medium to low-income tenants, but they are two different programs.

What are the Benefits of Affordable Housing?

Affordable housing benefits our nation as a whole. Families not having to struggle to pay rent, can focus on healthier food options, healthcare, education and general wellbeing of their family. Affordable housing helps get people off the street and into homes.

What is the Difference Between Social Housing and Affordable Housing?

Social housing units are usually owned by the state while affordable housing units are more private based and are open to a larger range of income the tenant receives, but they both have the goal of providing cheap housing to people in need. The rent is calculated differently and usually there will be different tenancy agreements. People that are eligible for social housing are usually eligible for affordable housing as well.

What Does it Mean When Your Section 8 Status Says Selected?

If your Section 8 status says “Selected”, it means you’ve been put on the waiting list. It’s very important that you keep your contact information updated, respond to the notices they send and keep in contact with them. Remember, if you fail to answer one of their notices, or if the PHA isn’t able to contact you, you may be taken off the list.

Does Section 8 Check Your Bank Account?

Section 8 may require you to provide them with your bank account information, such as your pay stubs and your bank statements. The PHA will use your bank account to check if you are reporting your income accurately and verify your income level consistency. You are asked to give consent in writing for the PHA to access your bank account.

What Happens if I Lose My Job While on Section 8?

If you lose your job, you must inform your PHA as soon as possible. The PHA gives you 5 to 30 days to report any changes you may have in your income. If you fail to pay your portion of the rent and fail to inform the PHA of the loss of your job, you may be evicted.

What Happens If You Inherit Money While on Section 8?

Inheriting money is not considered income by Section 8, so nothing happens if you receive money as inheritance while in the Section 8 voucher program. You don’t even have to report to your PHA that you received an inheritance if it was in the form of money. Though, if you inherit a business, the PHA will consider any income that comes from the business as family income and will ave to calculate if you still qualify for your voucher.

Who Qualifies for Public Housing?

Housing units can be part of state housing or federal housing. In both, people who are disabled or elderly are favored. The housing authorities verify age, disability, unit size, income, unit status and immigration status. If someone in your household has a disability, you will be required to present medical evidence. In State housing, at least one member of the household must be at least 60 years old, while in federal housing either the head of the household or the co-head of the household must be at least 62 years old.

If you are elderly or disabled, you can apply to public housing as long as one of the members of your household is a US citizen or has legal immigrant status. Your household’s annual gross income has to be lower than the income limits of your area. If you would like to check the income limits in your area, click HERE.

Another difference is that public housing depends a lot on the size of your household, so your family may not be considered for public housing if an apartment of the size they require isn’t available, contrary to Section 8.