The Section 8 requirements in Arkansas are set by public housing agencies (PHAs) throughout the state. If a PHA determines that you meet the Section 8 qualifications, you will be eligible to receive financial assistance, which you can then allocate toward paying for your rent.
Note that Section 8, also known as the housing choice voucher program, is funded federally by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but local PHAs are ultimately responsible for determining who is eligible to receive housing vouchers.
Various factors, such the Section 8 income limits, may differ, depending on where you live in Arkansas. Income limits can vary from one community to the next, due to the fact that the median family income is different in each area of the state. For that reason, you will need to work with your local PHA to find out the exact requirements for your area.
While income limits may vary based on where you live, other eligibility criteria are the same across the state. Below, learn more about the requirements for Section 8 in Arkansas, and find out if you qualify for the program.
The first factor that affects an applicant’s Section 8 eligibility is his or her family status. HUD’s definition of “family” includes various compositions, such as a single person who is elderly, disabled or displaced by a natural disaster.
Family can also be defined as a group of people who reside together, with or without children, including, but not limited to, groups who are elderly, disabled or displaced.
Your Section 8 housing eligibility in Arkansas is also affected by the size of your family. The requirements for Section 8 indicate who you can include when counting family members, and who must be excluded.
As far as HUD is concerned, family includes anyone who is related to you by blood, marriage or adoption. A spouse, child, parent or sibling can meet this definition, but you will also want to include the following family members:
When considering the HUD housing requirements, note that the definition of family does not include people who are staying in your house, but are not connected to you by blood, marriage or adoption.
Therefore, you should not count foster children or adults who you host, live-in aides or guests staying in your house. These individuals may count as household members for other social programs, but when determining your eligibility for Section 8, they do not count as family members.
When asking, “Do I qualify for low income housing?” it is important to consider how your income affects your eligibility. In determining your income, note that you must include the income of all family members in your household. The income limits for Section 8 are proportional to your family size, meaning that you can have a higher income, the larger your family composition.
In general, you will meet the Section 8 income requirements if you are at or below 50 percent of the median income where you live. However, you may receive assistance more quickly if you are at or below 30 percent of the median income level.
Keep in mind that the income limits can vary slightly, depending on where you live in the state. However, knowing the average median income in the state can help you determine if you are eligible. Refer to the table below to learn the average income limits for your family size in Arkansas.
|Family Size||50 Percent of Median Family Income||30 Percent of Median Family Income|
When asking how to qualify for Section 8 housing in Arkansas, another important factor is your residency and legal presence. By law, federal programs, such as Section 8, are only available to those who are in the U.S. legally.
You can qualify if you are a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national or an eligible noncitizen who has been granted temporary or permanent residence in the U.S. Note that you cannot qualify as an eligible noncitizen if you are an international student studying in the U.S.
If you qualify for Section 8 based on your legal presence in the U.S., note that you may also need to meet a residency requirement in order to receive vouchers. In most cases, you must live in the service area of a PHA in order to learn how to apply for assistance successfully from that agency.
If you currently live within a PHA’s service area, you may choose to live anywhere in the U.S. after you qualify for assistance.
However, if you are a new voucher-holder and do not live within the jurisdiction of a PHA before you applied for assistance, you must lease a unit that is within that PHA’s service area for the first 12 months that you receive vouchers.
Even if you meet the Section 8 qualifications above for family status, legal presence and income, it is possible that other factors will cause you to be categorized as ineligible for housing benefits.
PHAs are ultimately responsible for determining the factors that may lead to your disqualification, but it helps to understand that your request for assistance, despite if you meet HUD housing qualifications, will usually be met with a Section 8 denial if:
You have more than one residence when you apply for assistance from the Section 8 program.