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Learn About Section 8 Requirements in Arizona

Meeting the Section 8 requirements in Arizona is possible if you fall within the income limits, meet the correct definition of “family” and are in the U.S. legally. However, before learning about the Section 8 qualifications, it helps to understand how Section 8, otherwise known as the housing choice voucher program, is run.

At the local level, public housing agencies (PHAs) determine who is eligible for the program after reviewing applications. At the federal level, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is in charge of administering funds to PHAs, which then distribute housing choice vouchers to families that have been deemed eligible.

Because PHAs are in charge of determining your Section 8 eligibility, it helps to understand that the exact criteria for acceptance will vary, based on where you live.

For example, the Section 8 income limits can be higher in metropolitan areas with a higher median family income. Below, learn everything you need to know about family status, income limits and citizenship or legal presence requirements before you apply for the housing choice voucher program in AZ.

Learn About Arizona Section 8 Requirements for Family Status

When it comes to your Section 8 housing eligibility in Arizona, the first thing you will have to consider is your family size and status. Family size matters, because it has a direct impact on the minimum income that you can have to qualify for the program.

For example, a family of six can have a higher income than a family of three, and still qualify for the program due to the fact that income limits are proportional to the size of any given family.

If you are asking, “Do I qualify for low income housing?” it helps to determine which members of your household count as family members, and which individuals do not. As far as PHAs and HUD are concerned, your “family” only includes people who you are related to by blood, marriage or adoption. This includes spouses, children, parents, siblings, grandparents and other similar family members.

When counting your family members, be sure to include children who are away at school, but who return home during school breaks. Furthermore, you should count children in the process of being adopted, as well as unborn children.

Additionally, when determining if you meet the qualifications for Section 8, make sure to include any biological children in foster care, or children for whom you share joint custody.

Finally, if any members of your family are temporarily or indefinitely out of the home due to treatment in a rehabilitation facility or hospital, or residence in a nursing home, you should count these individuals as well.

The HUD housing requirements in Arizona prohibit you from including certain people as family members. When determining your family size, you must exclude the following:

  • Live-in aides who are in your household providing assistance to elderly or disabled individuals
  • Guests who are temporarily or permanently staying in your home
  • Foster children or adults whom you are hosting

What are the Section 8 income limits in Arizona?

When asking how to qualify for Section 8 housing in Arizona, your income is one of the most important considerations. You cannot qualify for the program if your income is too high, based on your family size. Remember that the eligibility criteria, such as income requirements, can vary slightly from one region of the state to the next, due to the fact that median family incomes are different everywhere.

However, you can get a general idea of the Section 8 income requirements by referring to average requirements for Arizona in the table below.

Family Size 50 Percent of Median Family Income 30 Percent of Median Family Income
1 $22,500 $13,500
2 $25,700 $15,450
3 $28,950 $17,350
4 $32,150 $19,300
5 $34,700 $20,850
6 $37,300 $22,400
7 $39,850 $23,900
8 $42,450 $25,450

In general, the Section 8 income limits in AZ require you to be at or below 50 percent of the median income for the area in which you reside. However, federal laws mandate that PHAs give a majority of their vouchers to families that fall at or below 30 percent of the area’s median family income.

With that in mind, you can qualify for the program with any income below 50 percent of the median income, but you may receive preference from your local PHA when vouchers are distributed, if you have an income at or below 30 percent of the median income.

Learn About Arizona Section 8 Qualifications for Legal Presence and Residency

One of the most important requirements for Section 8 in Arizona is that applicants must be legally present in the U.S. to qualify. In general, enrollment is restricted to those who are:

  • S. citizens.
  • S. nationals.
  • Noncitizens with eligible immigration status.

If your family is composed of individuals who are both legally and illegally present in the U.S., HUD describes your family as “mixed.” A mixed family may be eligible to receive a smaller portion of assistance, reserved just for the members who are in the U.S. legally. However, it is necessary to ask your local PHA what your options are, if your family is mixed.

The qualifications for Section 8 in Arizona also describe the residency requirements you must meet. If you are a new voucher-holder, you may move anywhere in the U.S. if you lived within the jurisdiction of a PHA when you originally learned how to apply for assistance.

However, if you did not live within the jurisdiction of a PHA when you submitted an application, you must rent a unit within the service area covered by the local PHA for the first 12 months that you receive rental help. If you wish to move at any time, you must notify your local PHA of your intentions to learn about the correct procedures to take.

Learn About Additional Section 8 Requirements in Arizona

When determining your eligibility for Section 8 in Arizona, there are additional factors that can lead to a housing application denial, or your assistance being revoked. When you apply for benefits, you may be deemed ineligible any of the following occurs:

  • You have been evicted from public housing in the past
  • You fraudulently represent information on your application, such as your family size, income or legal presence in the U.S.
  • You owe money to any other PHA that provides Section 8 housing
  • A background check reveals that you are engaged in drug-related activity, or that you have committed a violent crime
  • You are already receiving assistance from a different federal housing program.

When reviewing your Section 8 qualifications, local PHAs will verify your sources of income, family size, legal presence and your criminal history. In most cases, you will not be automatically rejected if you have a criminal history, but it is important to be aware that it can affect your eligibility for certain housing units.