Section 8 requirements in Georgia are in place to assure that those who most need assistance with housing are able to obtain it. Georgia residents and their families can look up Section 8 qualifications to see if they may be eligible to receive these benefits, which are part of the program administered by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, known as HUD.
The purpose of Section 8 housing, also called the Housing Choice Voucher Program, is to provide adequate housing to low-income families and/or individuals who cannot afford private housing on their own.
Applicants seeking Section 8 eligibility must qualify by meeting the standards that are decided upon, and enforced by, the HUD in conjunction with the state of Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
The criteria includes Section 8 income limits, standards for citizenship and/or immigration status, an applicant’s history as a renter and any background that may involve criminal activity or convictions.
You can refer to the official state checklist for preliminary guidelines to get a start on figuring out if you meet the HUD housing requirements. Among the first such criteria Georgia applicants must meet is the legal definition of a “family” for HUD purposes.
Section 8 housing eligibility requirements provide a definition for “family” that does not necessarily line up with the most common notions of a family held by most people. It is best to familiarize yourself with the HUD’s version of the definition, first.
HUD’s Section 8 requirements define a family very simply, albeit differently. A family is considered to be one or more people living together. Section 8 eligibility does not require family members to be connected through traditional familial ties, such as being related – either blood or marriage.
For the purposes of qualifying for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, there need not be any formal legal ties or connections, at all. However, HUD does classify families and those looking to learn how to apply to the Section 8 program into one of three, distinct categories. These categories are:
For Section 8 qualification, families are households where the head of the household is a person who is not disabled, nor considered elderly, which is someone over the age of 62. Any members of your household who are over 62 or are disabled, but are not the head of a household, will not disturb nor change your household’s status as being that of a family.
The section 8 requirement metrics that are the primary criteria used to determine the eligibility of a potential beneficiary of HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program is the income level of the individual, or of the entire household of those applying.
Each year, the Department of Housing and Urban development resets the Section 8 income limits, which determine a household’s ability to receive assistance through the HUD.
The Section 8 qualifications for income, as set by the HUD, consider several different factors when calculating the income levels needed, such as the county in which the applicant household resides, the number of household members in an applying household and the median income in a particular geographic location. HUD income limits are classified into three levels:
How to qualify for Section 8 housing income levels, in general, means an applicant household’s total income must equal either the very-low income level or the extremely-low income level, in order to become eligible to receive the HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program benefits.
Section 8 housing eligibility mandates that you meet certain other criteria, as it relates to your residency and citizenship status in the United States, as well as in the state of Georgia. Households who seek to meet the requirements for HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program benefits must show that they are citizens of the United States or immigrant resident aliens living in the U.S. legally with all the proper visas.
Any applicants must also be a legal resident of the state of Georgia, as well. People looking to apply for Section 8 eligibility who have permanent United States residency cards, also known as green cards, may legally apply for housing benefits through the HUD’s Section 8 program.
To meet the Section 8 requirements set by the HUD and Georgia’s DCA, there are other qualifications that those wishing to receive benefits must meet. Some of these additional criteria require that applicants show a history of favorable behaviors when it comes to their rental histories.
Other Section 8 qualifications speak to an applicant’s criminal record, or more favorably, a lack of one. Depending on an applicant’s criminal history, it may meet the disqualification standards that may inhibit an applicant to receive HUD benefits.
The Section 8 application process includes background checks to make sure an applicant’s behavior with regard to prior rental housing agreements, and whether or not he or she has committed crimes that can result in an application being denied by the HUD, the DCA, your local PHA – or all of them denying an application.
A poor history of renting housing, such as evictions on a record, pose significant risks to Section 8 eligibility, as does having a criminal record. Another risk to your Section 8 eligibility is owing money to any of Georgia’s public housing authorities.
Section 8 housing eligibility may be hard to come by for those who have criminal records. Although a criminal record does not automatically disqualify someone in Georgia, it may make it significantly more complicated to become approved for HUD benefits. Local public housing authorities (PHAs) tend to be more lenient with those who have had prior arrests, but lack convictions on their records.
Being approved for the Section 8 requirements with a felony conviction is very difficult, and it is even more so if the felony conviction happens to be for either a drug-related offense or some other violent crime.
How long ago the crime was adjudicated, as well as the severity of the crime, both factor into the HUD’s decision. However, no one may qualify for Section 8 housing if a conviction is for any sort of crime that was of a sexual nature.
To contact your Georgia HUD office, click here.