Maryland Section 8 requirements for eligibility will need to be met in order for low-income or qualifying families to receive affordable housing vouchers. There are many different Section 8 qualifications which must be followed in order to be considered for housing assistance. Income, for instance, plays a very large role in which applicants will be considered, and how much housing assistance they will receive.
Meeting the Section 8 income limits are only a small portion of what makes an applicant eligible for housing assistance. There are also citizenship and residency requirements which must be met in order for an applicant to be considered. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, along with the public housing authorities, will determine which applicants are eligible to receive assistance based on the pre-application. To find out more, continue reading below.
A major component of Section 8 eligibility in Maryland is determined by the family size and family composition of an applicant. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Housing Authority, the definition of a “family” is one or more individuals living within the same household, with the head of the household being at least 18 years of age or an emancipated minor. The eligibility criteria for HUD housing requirements states that an applicant must meet the “family” criteria, as defined by the Housing Authority. This includes criteria such as the following:
In order for any other applicants to be considered family units, they must meet the income limits, provide Social Security Numbers for all family members age six and younger, furnish citizenship or eligible immigrant status or at least one applicant must be a U.S. citizen or have eligible immigration status.
The reason why family size is important for eligibility for Section 8 is because it directly determines the median household income allowed in order to qualify to learn how to apply for housing benefits. In addition to family size, family composition is also important when determining housing requirements for HUD. Families who have minor children, disabled members or elderly household members may be eligible to receive specialty consideration on a case-by-case basis in Maryland.
Section 8 income limits in Maryland are perhaps the most important of the eligibility components. Since Section 8 housing qualifications are geared toward lower-income families, it is crucial that each family falls within a certain income bracket. In order to qualify for Section 8 housing in Maryland, applicants will need to have an income less than, or equal to, the specific area income for the county in which they are applying. Each Maryland county will have different area income limits, based on collected data. Most commonly, applicants will need to have an income less than 50 percent of the area’s median income. If an applicant is curious as to what the median income is for his or her area, he or she can contact the local public housing authority for more information.
As mentioned above, family size directly influences the income requirements for Section 8 allowed for an applicant. For example, in Prince George’s County, a family of one with an annual gross income of $24,650 will be considered extremely low when compared to the median income. A family of four, however, will have an income considered extremely low at $35,150. The more family members within the applying household, the higher the allotted annual income limits will be.
Outside of the income limits for Section 8 in Maryland, there are other requirements that must be considered, as well. Section 8 housing eligibility states that an applicant must either be a United States citizen or have eligible immigration status. If not all applicants are citizens or registered legal aliens, then at the very least, the head of household must be.
In addition to citizenship requirements, how to qualify for Section 8 housing means applicants also be residents of the state of Maryland. Applicants looking to meet the Section 8 qualifications within the state must also be able to prove in-county residency to the Housing Authority in which they are applying. For example, if an applicant is applying for the Baltimore County Housing Voucher Program, then he or she must live in Baltimore County and prove residency status.
Many applicants wonder, “Do I qualify for low income housing in Maryland if I meet the income and residency qualifications?” While these two areas are extremely important to meeting the Section 8 requirements, there are a few other factors to consider before being approved. A criminal background check will be conducted by the Housing Authority for every applicant that is over 18 years of age. This background check is intended to surface any issues involving a criminal past, recorded drug and alcohol use and any outstanding problems with previous housing assistance or landlords. Applicants that are found to have a criminal background will be denied assistance for housing. Also, any applicants who have any outstanding debts with a landlord will also be ineligible for a housing voucher. The ability to be denied Section 8 eligibility in Maryland rests on just one family member not passing the background check or having a felony conviction. Even if the head of household passes the background check and a single family member does not, the entire household will be denied financial assistance for housing.
To contact your Maryland HUD office, click here.