President Biden’s Policy Updates to Rental Assistance

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 President Biden’s plan for rental assistance revolves around eliminating discriminatory practices in the housing industry by expanding funding and through legislation. In other words, President Biden’s plan is to make sure you receive a fair price on housing and that no one will be discriminated because of race, religion, ethnicity or income status. 

His plan also includes adding funding to the Section 8 voucher program, to ensure that every person that qualifies will get housing assistance, along with a plan for providing Covid-19 vaccinations.

That alone is a huge step and a big relief for millions of families suffering from homelessness or the fear of being evicted, not to mention the fear of contracting the virus.

Before, approximately 11 million people were left on waiting lists, not receiving assistance, because the funding for Section 8 wasn’t enough.

That means that only 17% of low-income renters received housing vouchers. So, long story short, this plan will mean that less people are sleeping on the streets and more people will have a place to call home.

President Biden’s Covid-19 Relief Plan

On Thursday, January 14th, President Biden released a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 Relief Plan that will be distributed in various ways and will include granting an extension on foreclosure moratoriums and evictions.

Starting off, the plan will be providing eligible individuals with $1,400 stimulus check and an additional $400 for individuals who receive unemployment benefits.

To help low to moderate income families, $25 billion will be provided for rental relief. Biden’s plan extends the date until September 30 for forbearance on federally guaranteed mortgages.

His plan also includes launching a National Vaccination program that will aim to provide 100 million vaccinations during his first 100 days in office. The goal is to put safety measures in place so we are able to reopen businesses and schools safely and keep the risks of further spread as low as possible in such a challenging time.

Will President Biden’s Stimulus Check Affect My Section 8 Housing Voucher?

No, it won’t! Fortunately, like the previous stimulus check granted by the Trump administration, this round of stimulus checks will not affect your section 8 housing because it won’t be calculated as income.

President Biden added enhanced unemployment insurance assistance as well, which shouldn’t be calculated as income either.

Neither of these checks are calculated as income because they’re not checks you will continue to receive regularly. If you are receiving regular checks for unemployment, those must always be calculated in your income.

How will President Biden Get Section 8 Availability to Increase?

If you have ever participated in the Section 8 Voucher program, you know the waiting lists for Section 8 are very long and people must wait years to be eligible and find a home. This is due to the shortage of funding available to the program in comparison to the large amount of low-income families.

Once all the slots the funding offers are filled, a waiting list is created, and this is where the long wait begins. President Biden’s plan to change this problem is to make Section 8 an entitlement, meaning it will be available to everyone that qualifies!

His plan will grant $65 billion dollars to the Indian Housing Block Grant program and state housing authorities to help restore or rebuild homes for areas of low income.

Communities that are willing to implement new zoning laws, encouraging affordable housing, and are suffering from affordability prices will receive this funding, in hopes of making many more homes available for families or individuals in need of assistance.

Another part of this plan is to eliminate regulations that perpetuate discrimination, both local and state. One way he will do this is by incorporating inclusionary zoning, which means that a portion of any new construction, or a certain percentage of units, will be set aside for affordable housing.

He also plans to put a stop to “redlining”, which is when people are denied services or get charged more money for the same services, due to their race, ethnicity or religion. All in all, President Biden’s plan seems to be focused on helping people with low to moderate income find a place to live, without the worries of not having enough money to pay for rent.

Biden’s new policies are intended to decrease fear of being discriminated, while also giving us some much needed extra cash to help out during such a hard time for all of us.

How to Apply for Section 8 and Rental Assistance Under Biden’s New Funding

Though there is much excitement about the new funding and policies under Biden’s new plan, the application process remains the same.

However, with the new funding in place, Housing Authorities (PHA) will have more resources to provide qualified applicants with Section 8 housing vouchers. Public housing units and other renal assistance programs will have more resources. The goal of increased funding will reduce waiting lists giving all families and people in need the assistance they need to afford clean, safe and suitable housing. 

To apply for a Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, start by contacting your local PHA by Clicking Here and complete an application directly with the local office. 

  • How do I Apply for Biden’s Section 8? When I click on either of the three or four available options, it doesn’t take me to any application. Is there something wrong?

    • Hi Patricia, thanks for your question. Hopefully we can help clear things up.
      Thank you for your comment. We cannot provide Applications. We provide information on where you can find your local Housing Assistance applications.
      Your local Housing Authority can provide you with a local application. There is no one application for all states. All applications are managed by local HUD sponsored housing authorities, you must apply through a PHA office in the area where you live or want to live.

      For more information on how to apply try reading this article The Steps to Section 8

    • Hi Lynette, Thank you for asking this question. You will still apply for section 8 the same way.
      You apply by contacting your nearest Public Housing Authority. Ask them for a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Application. You may be able to pick one up in person at their office, through email or download one from their website.

  • I have applied under Biden’s plan and I’m reapply here under Biden’s plan again.
    I appreciate if you review my case and I’m in processing of being homeless in this coming June. I have waited over a year and it seems too late as time approaches. Anxious and sleepless nights wonder where am I going. With respect I have long patience to hear the good news soon.
    My regards
    Lana

    • Hi Lana, We are so sorry to hear of you wait for rental assistance. We can’t review your case. Only a active HUD housing agency could do that.
      However these are our suggestions. We hope they help you.

      Step 1. If you are facing homelessness, it is likely your PHA will move your application to the front of the list if you make them aware of your urgent housing situation.
      You can also learn more about what to do if you need urgent housing in this article. Steps to Take If You Are Facing Homelessness

      Step 2. Follow the instructions in this article for Emergency Housing. I Need Emergency Housing

      Step 3. You could apply for multiple rental assistance programs. This may improve your odds for rental assistance. Check out these articles
      How to Apply for Public Housing
      Affordable Housing Common Q & A

      Good Luck and God bless. Please reach out if you have more questions.

    • Angela, you apply the same way you normally would. Which is through your local PHA (Public Housing Authority) A quick google search should reveal your nearest PHA office and contact info. You can also use this link and select your state then contact the PHA office nearest to where you live.

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