How to Qualify for Low-Income Housing How to Qualify for Low-Income Housing
As more and more people are finding themselves in poverty, many are turning to affordable housing programs to break the cycle. Roughly 46 million... How to Qualify for Low-Income Housing

As more and more people are finding themselves in poverty, many are turning to affordable housing programs to break the cycle. Roughly 46 million Americans live in poverty according to the Monroe Group. However, even though 46 million Americans are in poverty, only 10 million people receive federal rental assistance. That being said, many people don’t know where to begin with section 8 and how to even qualify. Luckily if you keep reading you will find out how to qualify for affordable housing programs and how to give yourself the best chances at receiving assistance sooner rather than later.

Types of Low-Income Housing

While there are many different types of affordable housing programs, the two main ones are called public housing and section 8 housing. Even though both of these programs aim to provide affordable housing to tenants, they do so in different ways. That is why you should know the difference before you submit your application so you can have a clear understanding of the assistance that you will be receiving. Both of these programs are overseen and funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, even though funding comes from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, your local public housing authority is actually who you will be working with. They are the ones that handles applications, approvals, inspections of housing units, and more. The public housing program is a program that provides lowered rent in order for it to be affordable.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development indicates that affordable housing is when a tenant does not spend over 30% of their income towards housing. Anything past 30% makes them considered to be cost-burdened. An example of what public housing rent would look like is if your income is $1,000 a month then you would not be responsible for anything more than $300 in housing costs. Sadly, when many people think of public housing, they have a bad image of an unsafe and unsanitary environment. However, that is actually not the case. There are both federal and local standards that each housing unit must meet in order to comply with the law. If these units do not meet the standards, then tenants are not able to live in them. Regardless of the fact that section 8 is similar with their mission to provide affordable housing, they do it a different way. The section 8 assistance program provides eligible tenants housing vouchers (also known as housing subsidies) in order to cover the cost difference in rent. Unlike public housing which has designated housing units that are federally funded, section 8 vouchers can be used anywhere that section 8 vouchers are accepted. Regardless if it’s a house, a town home, an apartment, etc., any landlord or property manager that accepts vouchers can have recipients live there. Just like public housing, section 8 recipients will not need to spend more than 30% of their income towards housing expenses. However, the amount that the local public housing authority will cover with their voucher varies. A voucher can cover up to 70% of the cost difference of rent! Once you are approved for section 8 assistance and you have received your voucher, you will need to find a place to live. After finding a housing unit that accepts vouchers, you will need to have an inspector from your local public housing authority to ensure that the
unit meets both federal and local standards of cleanliness and safety. Only then will you be able to move into your place.

Income Limits are Location Specific

The Department of Housing and Urban Development makes low-income units available to households with an annual income that ranges from 30-80% below the area’s median annual income. Households can be categorized from “low income” which is 30% below the median income, “very low income” which is 50% below the median income, and “extremely low income” which is 80% below the media income. Typically, families that are classified in any of these three categories with corresponding income levels, they are eligible for a public housing unit. There are also factors that affect what your actual income is.

A person who is “very low income” and is just 1 person can technically make more than a person who is just considered “low income” if that “low income” tenant has children. If a person who is just “low income’ but has four kids then that income is split up between five people versus the one person who is “very low income.” When looking at section 8 housing, the household income cannot surpass 50% of the area’s median income.The lower your income then the higher chance you have to receive housing.

Demographic Requirements

Besides being in the right income bracket, you will need to provide other important information about the demographic of your family. Economics and demographic information like assets, citizenship status, family size, etc., will need to be provided about your family. Not every public housing authority will have the same requirements in regard to what is needed in order to be eligible and approved for assistance. The best way that you can find out that information is by contacting your local public housing authority of the area you are looking to live in. You can also check online to see if there is any information available. You need to make sure that you are upfront and honest about all information that you provide to the public housing authority when you apply. If you are caught being fraudulent then you run the risk of losing your opportunity for assistance for a set period of time or even forever.

Be Prepared for a Wait

Since there are so many people in poverty and not enough affordable housing opportunities, wait lists can get very long. There is currently an affordable housing crisis due to the high demand and lack of supply that people face. Very rarely will you immediately receive assistance after your application is approved. Wait lists can be as long as a few months to even a couple years long. Some are even closed indefinitely. Since wait lists can be so extensive, it is a good idea to see what your other options are. If you are able to be flexible with the area you live in, then you will want to see if moving to other areas with shorter wait lists is an option. You can apply to any amount of public housing authorities that you want, you have no restriction. Even if you get denied at another public housing authority, you will not have your place in line affected with the one you were approved at. You can also verify that with your local public housing authority.

Sam King

  • Allison Richard

    April 8, 2020 #1 Author

    Hi Sam I’m interested in low income housing please helo


  • Rosanna Thao

    April 9, 2020 #5 Author

    How do I apply application for section 8 or public housing?


    • Brenda L Sharlow

      April 18, 2020 #6 Author

      Sam I’m looking for a place for myself and badly need section 8 please contact me.


    • Tony Ham

      April 18, 2020 #7 Author

      Hello I’m in need of a section 8 housing. How and where do I apply and when?


    • Ashley pledge

      April 19, 2020 #8 Author

      I’m interested in getting help with low income housing.


    • David L. MILORD

      April 19, 2020 #9 Author



    • Denise D Charlton

      April 29, 2020 #10 Author

      Georgia is a terrible place for affordable senior housing and affordable decent housing period. I’ve been getting the run around since 2012. So sad. I’m 63 and recovering from a ruptured aneurysm/stroke, even though I’m an active senior, chasing my tail is all that I do trying to get housing.


  • Eugenie F Kidd

    April 9, 2020 #11 Author

    Thanks,8 hd applied for housing through Hodges group in New Hampshire,I am down in Florida my income is very low it’s is med low 11,000its so sad it’s been 5 yrs plus plus and nothing,if some one wants to help then may be email me 5he official information,but for now it’s heart broken to be waiting for so long, worst of me is getting housing,right now I am shacking with family not a good take ,also privacy is a factor,I don’t want any and everywhere, decent area,but I guess I have to wait bade in what’s going on in the economy,and the health crises,
    5hanks your response to my request is greatly appreciated.
    Eugenie Fraser Kidd


    • Barbara Dears

      April 16, 2020 #12 Author

      I receive SSI once a month and my rent takes more than half my check leaving me with little to no money for the remainder of the month


    • Michael Dorr

      April 19, 2020 #13 Author

      I’m interested in low income housing


  • Shauntell Smith

    April 9, 2020 #14 Author

    Thanks so much I appreciate it looking forward to it all…


  • samy i atwan

    April 9, 2020 #17 Author

    I applied to housing in the Lehigh region more than two years ago and I am now over seventy years old and until now I have not received Section 8 aid.
    can you help me
    samy i atwan 624 ridge ave allentown,pa18102


    • Ieysha

      April 19, 2020 #18 Author

      I had applied for section 8 in Atlanta ga please help me Thank you


  • Jacquessia

    April 9, 2020 #19 Author

    I interested


    • Denise D Charlton

      June 4, 2020 #20 Author

      Nobody is helping me land affordable housing. Active senior, working, social security disability AND recovering from a ruptured aneurysm/stroke. It’s been 8 years and no housing help at all in the Atlanta area. Very bad situation!


  • jane

    April 11, 2020 #21 Author

    hello i am interesting buying a town houses how do i go about it I am already on section eight can you give me some information on this really would appropriated it thank you


  • Arthur Dorsey

    April 11, 2020 #22 Author

    im living in senior housing , and my rent is going up next month, i cannot afford this. can you get me info on affordable senior accommodation here in chicago?


  • Christina L Jones

    April 14, 2020 #23 Author

    Hi I’m a single mom of 4. 3 are still with me and have become homeless and now jobless and need help asap. Can u help me?


  • Brenda L Sharlow

    April 18, 2020 #24 Author

    In need of housing … in a bad situation where I’m living. Um disabled and 57.. could you plz help


  • Ana l barrios

    April 19, 2020 #25 Author

    Hi my name is Ana and I’m interested in any kind of help please help


  • ella jackson

    April 19, 2020 #26 Author

    hello sam I’m very interested in your low income housing voucher program for families in need. I may be reached at my physical address is 21283 LEMON ST. Wildomar,ca 92595. I look forward to speaking with you.


  • Brittney Davis

    April 19, 2020 #27 Author

    Need more information. I’m homeless with two kids. I have a income


  • Tonya

    April 19, 2020 #28 Author

    Thats really Sam ur over 70 yrs old and you still have not got answers from any housing agency that breaks my heart sam to hear that due to your age because they should of put you in some kind of housing already our elderly folks should be first in line. The cost of living is out of control and it really sucks cuz I’m sure you worked all ur life. And it doesn’t get any easier for us as we get older. Its a damn shame that all the people that work for the government not one person has came up with some kind of salutation on how to organize this housing problem we have in a America. They make everything complicated and its really sad to see this happen in our country Sam. I wish they would let me run this country for even just a year and i no shit would get done i would fire every single person in office in the governor’s office as well sometimes you need to do that kind of shit especially if you no these people been there for years and nothing seem to be running right thats when u know u need new faces thats how shit should be ran anyways. Just like if i owned a business and seen nothing getting done right ur damn right i would be making some changes. It would be stupid not to. Sam I wish I had some answers for you I’m in the same boat as you but you will be in my prayers that you get housing really fast. I wish you the best of luck Sam and as well to every single person waiting on housing to come along. Talking about having some patience. I’m starting to think you people that run our housing projects just really dont give a damn about people and your loving it just cuz ur to comfortable in ur job space thats why nothing gets done.


  • Susan Branham

    April 19, 2020 #29 Author

    I am a mother of 6, 4 of which are under 18 years old. I need housing assistance to provide a home for us so that we can be together again. Can you help?


  • James Warfield

    April 20, 2020 #30 Author

    Good morning
    My wife passed away December 29 and her daughter is getting the house. I’m fully disabled, a veteran and receive SSDI. I’m in need of affordable housing by months end.
    Thank you


  • Brandy Granlund

    April 24, 2020 #31 Author

    I need help with this low income Im on the street


  • Delisa Deming

    April 27, 2020 #32 Author

    Im currently homeless and was living out of my truck till i was hit this past Thursday evening. My truck is totaled and I’m not sure where I am going next:(


  • colleen clark

    April 28, 2020 #33 Author

    i need help with houseing


  • Patti Nygaard

    May 25, 2020 #34 Author

    I would like some help. I’m a single mother of 1


  • Tonya Bass

    May 26, 2020 #35 Author

    In need of something that goes by my income


  • Shanetta Taylor

    May 28, 2020 #36 Author

    Hi, I wouol like to apply for low income housing
    Looking forward to hearing from you


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *