Understanding Housing and Urban Development
By: Mary D., Published: Feb 18, 2020 | Related: Section 8
The Great Depression left many families without homes, and as a result, the Federal Government decided to create a specific housing assistance program that would allow these families to find housing even with a low income. many of the programs we’re essentially the start of the HUD, or the Housing and Urban Development, a program that the government agency still uses and manages today.
The beginnings of the program led to various other programs to help promote the overall construction of housing for low income, and it has also been put in place to help low-income residents subsidize their rent payments.
With the Housing and Development Act put into place by Congress back in 1974, the effort for helping low-income families get housing and subsidize their rent was known as the Section 8 Program. It subsidizes the payments for rent through the requirement of families and individuals to dedicate 30-percent of their total income to rent payment. Anything above that percentage is paid to the landlord through the means of the federal government.
Started in 1974, it had just three subcategories: Substantial Rehabilitation, New Construction, and Existing Housing. The Moderate Rehabilitation project option was added later in 1978, and in 1983, the government added a voucher program. 1991 brought about a Project Based Certificate Program, and all three decide whether a landlord qualifies for the entire Section 8 Program.
The Section 8 Housing is regulated under each state’s housing authority. Based on the funding that each housing authority receives, it will determine how many units are available at each location. The programs as well as the budgets are always changing in all the states, but Congress maintains the renewal of funding for the various subsidies that have been granted already.
It is such a unique assistance program for those that are considered to be low income. This might include the disabled or the elderly. Since the program was designed to help even the ones with limited income sources to find ideal housing, the residents must find their own place to live. The vouchers can be spent on various options like apartments, single family homes, or even townhomes. It will all depend on what the user is looking for.
Eligibility for these vouchers and the other programs depends entirely on the Housing Authority’s requirements for any given state. These requirements are always based on the size of the family and the total gross annual income received by the family. The only ones who can apply are those who have U.S. Citizenship or who have immigration status as a non-citizen.
With a thorough application process, the Housing Authority in all states will work to verify the information given like assets, income, and family members. Immigration status is also considered if needed. There will be several people contacted throughout the process like family members, employers, and even banks, and their interviews will help with the process. The research is important to determining whether the applicant qualifies for any of the programs, and it determines how much is given to them.
Since the voucher program is in high demand right now, those who are accepted are typically put on a waiting list until the funds can become available. It is a common practice in almost all areas of the country, and once the funds are ready, the Housing Authority contacts the applications before the voucher is issued.
Based on situations, the Housing Authority has the right to relocated various applicants to the top of the waiting list. Some of the reasons might include things like:
• A homeless family that lives in a dangerous situation
• A family paying more than 50-percent of the gross income toward rent
• A family that has been involuntarily displaced from the home
Each preference has been based on the local demand and the local need. The qualifications are going to vary based on the state and the local Housing Authority. The housing the recipients select must also meet the requirements that are set up by the Housing Authority for things like sanitation and safety. The landlords are also required to submit any properties for the inspection process to ensure that the properties comply with the requirements. Once the housing is approved, the voucher is then granted to the recipient.
Unfortunately, landlords are not required to accept any of the vouchers from Section 8 Program. Many decline simply because they do not like working with federal agencies, but others are just not certain about the workings of the program. The recipients of any vouchers must complete verification from the landlord that the voucher is accepted.
Since the Housing Authority spends quite a bit of their time and resources to avoid fraud, it is important that any recipients keep in touch with the local office, especially if there are any changes in the income levels or family size. Any failure to report the changes can result in loss of the subsidy and voucher.