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Learn About Section 8 Requirements in Florida

The Section 8 requirements in Florida are there to enable the residents of the state to rightfully obtain help in offsetting their housing expenditures when they find themselves in some degree of financial peril.

Florida families can find out if they meet the Section 8 qualifications in the state by applying for the Section 8 program, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Section 8 eligibility allows low-income families and individuals to afford adequate housing and shelter costs.

In order to qualify for housing benefits, applicants must meet certain criteria, as set forth by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development – known as HUD – and any relevant state rules and regulations that may be enforced by Public Housing Agencies (PHAs).

Section 8 income limits, immigration and citizenship status, past history as a tenant and criminal record are all considerations when applying for this program.

Learn About Florida Section 8 Requirements for Family Status

You may ask, “Do I qualify for low income housing?” when looking to apply for the Section 8 program in Florida. If you are looking to learn more about HUD housing requirements, the definition of “family,” according to HUD, is something with which you need to familiarize yourself.

HUD’s definition of what makes up a family unit is what guides the rules of the program, so it may be slightly different from what you or many other people may think of when referring to a family.

According to HUD’s Section 8 requirements, a family is defined very simply as one or more people who live together. As far as HUD’s requirements are concerned, people who are considered family members for the purposes of the Housing Choice Voucher Program do not need to be related by blood, nor do they need to be related through marriage.

In fact, Section 8 eligibility does not mandate that there is any legal connection or relation – at all. HUD separates families into three distinct categories, one of which is defined as a family, while the other two are elderly and disabled, respectively.

For a Section 8 qualification, a family is one where the head of the household is not disabled nor elderly, which is older than 62 years of age. If one or more members of your household is disabled or elderly, but they are not the head of the household, your household will still be considered a family, and not elderly or disabled.

What are the Section 8 income limits in Florida?

The primary section 8 requirement used to decide eligibility for HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program assistance is the income level of the family, or the individual who is learning how to apply for housing assistance.

Every year, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development establishes Section 8 income requirements with which to determine an applicant’s eligibility for the program’s assistance.

The income limits set by HUD take several factors into consideration, such as the county in which the applicants live, the size of the family that is applying for aid from HUD, and the median income in that geographic location.

HUD income limits are classified into three levels:

  • Low income – Low income level families are those families whose total household incomes are equal to only 80 percent of the median household income of families in a particular county.
  • Very-low income – The families who meet these Section 8 income limits are those whose gross household incomes equal to that of only 50 percent of the median household income, in a particular locale.
  • Extremely-low income – A family qualifies as one with extremely-low income when their incomes meet only 60 percent of the very-low income level, or only 30 percent of the median household income in a county.

Typically, in order to understand how to qualify for Section 8 housing for income levels, an applicant family’s total household income must qualify as either the very-low income, or extremely-low income levels in order to qualify for HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Learn About Florida Section 8 Qualifications for Legal Presence and Residency

Your Section 8 housing eligibility also requires that you meet certain other criteria with regard to your residency and citizenship status in the United States, as well as in the state of Florida.

Anyone who wishes to receive benefits through HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program must be both a United States citizen, whether natural-born or naturalized, and he or she must be a legal resident of the state of Florida.

However, those individuals seeking Section 8 eligibility who have permanent United States residency cards, also known as green cards, are eligible for housing assistance through HUD’s programs.

Learn About Additional Section 8 Requirements in Florida

In order to meet Section 8 requirements set by HUD and the state of Florida, there are additional criteria which applicants must meet before they can begin to receive the benefits associated with this program. Many of these additional Section 8 qualifications have to do with your behavior as a tenant, and whether or not you have a criminal record, or record of criminal behavior, that may jeopardize your ability to successfully apply for HUD’s Section 8 program.

HUD’s Section 8 application process includes housing and criminal background checks, which can pose significant potential impact to those who want to obtain the program’s benefits. Some of the pitfalls than can application to be denied include an unfavorable history as a renter or tenant.

This can encompass things like having past evictions on your renter’s history or credit report. Also damaging to your Section 8 eligibility is owing money to any of Florida’s public housing authorities.

For people who want to get Section 8 housing eligibility, having a criminal record is another obstacle to overcome. While having a criminal record does not automatically disqualify someone from receiving benefits in Florida, it does make it more difficult. In general, the housing authority is more flexible for those people with an arrest record, but may be more stringent when pertaining to individuals with convictions on their records.

Meeting the Section 8 requirements with a felony conviction is even more difficult, especially when the felony convictions are for drug-related crimes or crimes that are violent in nature. Individual housing authorities may conduct their operations differently from county to county.

Someone with a criminal record may qualify for Section 8 housing, despite a conviction. In such a case, the housing authority considers the seriousness of the crime, as well as how old the conviction may be. Anyone convicted of a crime of a sexual nature will not be permitted to receive benefits from any HUD program.

To contact your Florida HUD office, click here.