Meeting the Section 8 requirements in Maine are a critical component of qualifying for affordable housing assistance in the state. Section 8 qualifications are in place so that low income applicants have an opportunity to qualify for reduced rents. Yet, before an applicant can consider finding low income housing, he or she must first apply for Section 8 through the Maine State Housing Authority.
Meeting the Section 8 eligibility requirements involves different criteria from income to current housing status and more. Applicants should understand the necessary components to meeting the eligibility guidelines, as well as what priory eligibility entails. For instance, MaineHousing will provide priority vouchers to applicants who are homeless at the time of application. To find out more regarding eligibility for Section 8 housing in Maine, continue reading below.
All applicants seeking housing assistance must meet the requirements for Section 8 in Maine before submitting an application. There are certain Section 8 restrictions regarding the family size and composition that an applicant should take into account that could directly affect whether or not he or she is eligible to apply. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the definition of a “family” is one or more individuals living together under one roof. The definition does not indicate that members must be related by blood, marriage or other legal capacity. As per the requirements for Section 8 housing, families that consist of children, as well as family members who are pregnant, disabled or elderly will have priority in housing vouchers as long as proof can be established. Other households may be placed on a waiting list if there is more demand for assistance than is available.
One of the most important aspects of Section 8 housing eligibility in Maine involves meeting the required income limits. Section 8 income limits are very strict, especially since the program is geared toward lower-income applicants. Eligibility for a housing voucher in Maine is determined by the local Public Housing Authority (PHA) based on the total annual gross income for a family. In order to qualify for Section 8 housing, a family’s total income may not exceed 50 percent of the median income for the county or the city in which the family is choosing to live. Law also states that the PHA must provide 75 percent of its vouchers to applicants whose total income does not exceed 30 percent of the median income for the area. It is also important to understand that the median income limits will increase based on the total number of family members in the household. For example, in Bangor, Maine the Section 8 income limits as of April 2018 are $14,750 for a single person household and $25,100 for a five person household. Oftentimes, the larger the household, the greater the opportunity for members of the family to produce income.
In addition, the total median income limits in Maine will fluctuate each year for a particular area, so it is important for applicants to check first with the Public Housing Authority that is serving their community for the exact numbers. Income verification will be established by the Public Housing Authority, through:
While the initial application for Section 8 housing does not require corroborative paperwork, the pre-interview process will. Providing the necessary documentation during the pre-interview process in Maine will be the only way an applicant can definitively establish eligibility status for Section 8. Family income, assets and composition will require proof by the PHA in order to determine eligibility status, as well as the amount of housing assistance a family will be eligible to receive.
The Section 8 requirements in Maine outside of income limits involve legal presence and residency status. Applicants seeking eligibility for Section 8 should:
Maine Section 8 qualifications state that at least one person within an applying family be a United States citizen. If an applicant finds that he or she would meet the income guidelines of another county versus the one he or she is currently in, then he or she should move to the county to establish residency before applying for Section 8 housing.
“Do I qualify for low income housing in Maine?” is a common question asked by first-time applicants who read through the above-mentioned criteria. Eligibility for Section 8 housing is comprehensive, but also will vary depending on the county in Maine in which an applicant resides. Outside of the income limits and family status, other important aspects of Section 8 eligibility involves the history of the applicant, or applying family members. For instance, any applicants for Section 8 housing who have a criminal record will not be eligible to apply. Applicants who have a known history of drug or alcohol abuse, or criminal activity on record will be denied. Background checks will be mandatory as part of the HUD housing requirements. Any household members who have actively engaged in criminal activity as shown by their record, or those who have a documented history involving alcohol or drugs will not be eligible to apply. Additionally, if an applicant owes money to the Maine Housing Authority from a previous housing arrangement, then he or she will not be eligible for a new housing voucher.
To contact your Maine HUD office, click here.