Meeting the Section 8 requirements in Alaska is essential before you can qualify for assistance paying your rent. When learning about the Section 8 qualifications, it is important to understand how this program is run. Section 8, known formally as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, is funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
At the local level, funds are distributed, and the program’s eligibility criteria are set by public housing agencies, otherwise known as PHAs. Most states have multiple PHAs, but Alaska just has one: the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation.
Overall, your Section 8 eligibility is based on your family status, income and legal presence in the United States. You can generally qualify for the program only if you are in a low-income or extremely low-income family. Furthermore, you must be in the U.S. legally in order to receive assistance from any federally funded program.
Below, learn more about the Section 8 income limits in Alaska and other eligibility criteria you must meet before applying for the program.
The first factor that affects your Section 8 housing eligibility is your family status. Your family can be composed of individuals who are related to you by blood, marriage or adoption, but you can also qualify as a “family” if you are on your own.
When looking at the HUD housing requirements in Alaska, it is important to understand the difference between who is a family member and who simply resides in your household. A household may be composed of guests, foster children, temporary residents or live-in aides, but these individuals do not count as family members for the purposes of Section 8 housing.
When it comes to your eligibility for Section 8 housing, understand that a biological child, adoptive child, spouse, parent or other blood relative can be included. In addition, you should count the following people when determining your family size:
Understanding the family definition for Section 8 housing is important for several reasons. The biggest reason, however, is that your family size plays a role in determining the maximum income you can have in order to qualify for the program.
If you are wondering how to qualify for Section 8 housing in Alaska, be aware that your income is a major factor. In general, you meet the requirements for Section 8 if your income is at or below 50 percent of the median household income in the area. Remember that individual PHAs determine the eligibility criteria, including income limits, in each region of the state.
Even though Alaska is only served by one PHA, the income limits can still vary based on where you live and your family size. For example, metropolitan areas such as Juneau tend to have a higher median family income, meaning that you can qualify for Section 8 with a higher family income if you live in this area when compared to regions with a lower median income.
Furthermore, a large family can have a higher income than a small family and still qualify for Section 8 due to the fact that the income limits are proportional to the size of the family.
When asking “Do I qualify for low income housing?” note that it is necessary to contact the PHA for the exact income requirements in your area. However, it helps to be aware that, currently, the average income limits in Alaska are as follows:
|Family Size||50 Percent of Median Family Income||30 Percent of Median Family Income|
As you are determining your family’s income, keep in mind that you may only count the income from people who qualify as family members, as described in the section above. If a temporary guest or foster child in your home receives income, you should not count this amount toward your family’s income.
One of the most important requirements for Section 8 housing is that you must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or a non-citizen with the proper immigration status in order to qualify. You cannot benefit from a federally funded program if you are not legally present in the country.
Note that your citizenship or legal presence will be verified as part of the application process, so it will be necessary to submit documentation that proves your eligibility when you apply.
Your eligibility for Section 8 in Alaska is also affected by your current residency and housing status. You cannot qualify for Section 8 if you have more than one residence or if you will maintain a second residence after receiving a housing voucher.
The Section 8 eligibility criteria can vary from one region to the next, so it is important to contact the PHA where you live for exact specifications. Even within the same general area, you may find that the qualifications vary at different housing units.
For example, senior housing facilities may only accept applicants who meet an age requirement. Furthermore, a community may limit applications to families of certain sizes.
A unit that only accommodates five or six people, such as a three-bedroom apartment, may limit applications to families with six or fewer members. In other words, even if you qualify for Section 8 in Alaska, you may not be eligible for housing in certain vacant units.
This is because each landlord or rental agency providing Section 8 housing is required to have adequate accommodations, meaning that it would be illegal to let tenants exceed a unit’s maximum occupancy limits.
In general, the Section 8 requirements in Alaska do not exclude applicants with a criminal history, but the exact policies that may disqualify applicants may vary at between public housing projects or other units.
Applicants on parole or those who have a criminal history may apply for Section 8 if they meet the program’s general eligibility criteria. The PHA in Alaska also has a special program for low-income parolees, known as Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA), which is available at every community that provides Section 8 housing.