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Learn About Section 8 Requirements in Alabama

There are a variety of Section 8 requirements in Alabama that you must meet before you can qualify for assistance paying your rent. Section 8, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, makes it easier for you to find affordable housing if you are elderly, disabled or part of a low-income household.

The program is federally funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but it is administered by local public housing agencies (PHAs). The Section 8 qualifications are set by PHAs, and as a result, you may find that the eligibility requirements vary based on the community you live in.

Overall, you must meet the Section 8 income limits, have the correct family status and meet the citizenship or legal presence requirements in order to qualify for the program. Note that if you meet the Section 8 eligibility criteria, you are not limited to living in subsidized housing projects through project-based assistance.

Once you are deemed eligible for assistance, you will receive a voucher that allows you to choose any single-family home, townhouse or apartment that is covered under the program. Below, learn more about qualifying for this program and discover what benefits you may be eligible for.

Learn About Alabama Section 8 Requirements for Family Status

Section 8 housing eligibility in Alabama is based on many factors, the first of which is your family status. In order to qualify for Section 8, you must meet HUD’s definition of “family.” Meeting the family definition is important because your family size has a significant impact on the minimum household income you can have to qualify for the program.

When defining family, it is crucial to note that the people residing in your household do not necessarily qualify as members of your family. Your family is restricted to people related to you by blood, adoption or marriage. In addition to a spouse, child or parent who may live with you, this definition includes the following:

  • Children temporarily absent from the home because they are placed in foster care
  • Children who have moved out to attend school but who return home during school breaks
  • Children for whom you have joint custody
  • Unborn children
  • Children who you are in the process of adopting
  • Temporarily absent family members, such as those who are in the hospital for inpatient treatment or those who are placed or stationed outside of the home for a temporary assignment
  • Absent family members who are still considered part of the family unit, such as persons living in a nursing home

The requirements for Section 8 in Alabama do not allow you to count people who are simply in your home and do not meet the definition of a family member as described above. For example, live-in aides, guests, foster children and foster adults should be excluded from your definition of family.

These individuals may qualify as part of a household as far as other social programs are concerned, but when determining your eligibility for Section 8, they do not count as family members.

What are the Section 8 income requirements in Alabama?

When asking “Do I qualify for low income housing in Alabama?” you should be aware that one of the most important considerations is your income. In general, the income requirements for Section 8 state that your family’s income must be at or below 50 percent of the median income for the metropolitan area or county that you live in.

However, PHAs are required by law to provide 75 percent of their housing vouchers for families that make 30 percent or less of the area’s median income. In other words, you can meet the HUD housing requirements if your income is at or below 50 percent of the median income, but the PHA in your area may give your family preference if your income is less than 30 percent of the median.

It is important to note that the income limits for Section 8 in Alabama can vary based on the area that you live in. For that reason, you must obtain the exact income limits for your area by contacting the PHA that serves your community. Currently, the average Alabama income limits are as follows based on your family size:

Family Size 50 Percent of Median Family Income 30 Percent of Median Family Income
1 $21,050 $12,650
2 $24,100 $14,450
3 $27,100 $16,250
4 $30,100 $18,050
5 $32,500 $19,500
6 $34,900 $20,950
7 $37,300 $22,400
8 $39,750 $23,850

Learn About Alabama Section 8 Qualifications for Legal Presence and Residency

If you are wondering how to qualify for Section 8 housing, it is important to know how your citizenship or legal presence in the U.S. will affect your eligibility. By law, federal rental assistance is only available to U.S. citizens and non-citizens who have the appropriate immigration status. Note that you and all of your family members must be legally present in the U.S. to qualify.

You are considered a “mixed family” if some members of your household are legally present and others are not. In such cases, you may be able to receive a nominal amount of assistance for the family members who are in the U.S. legally.

Learn About Additional Section 8 Requirements in Alabama

If you meet the Section 8 requirements in Alabama, it is important to be aware that you will not necessarily lose your eligibility if you move to a different area. HUD and local PHAs recognize that housing needs change over time, and as a result, you are allowed to continue receiving your benefits as long as you move somewhere else in the U.S. where there is another PHA that can administer your housing choice voucher.

On the other hand, your family may lose its eligibility for Section 8 in Alabama if you violate the terms of the program. Examples of ways you can lose your eligibility include:

  • Engaging in drug-related activity.
  • Committing a violent crime.
  • Subleasing your Section 8 unit to someone else.
  • Misrepresenting your family size or income.