The Michigan Section 8 requirements for affordable housing involve different criteria, from income to residency and more. Applicants must meet all the Section 8 qualifications in order to be considered for housing assistance. However, beyond just understanding the state qualifications for Section 8, it is also important to understand the qualifications per county. Michigan counties vary in terms of the minimum requirements to apply for Section 8.
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHD) has specific guidelines when it comes to receiving housing vouchers. For example, making sure an applicant’s gross total income does not exceed the median Section 8 income limits per county is one of the most important requirements. In addition, being able to pass a background check will also make the difference between those who are eligible and those who are denied. To find out more, continue reading below.
Meeting Section 8 eligibility in Michigan begins with qualifying under the guidelines of family status and composition. Family status plays a critical role in Section 8 housing eligibility, as per the standards of the Housing Authority. While some applicants may misconstrue the term “family” as being a unit of two parents and minor children, the definition is different under Section 8. In order to be considered a family for Section 8 guidelines, an applicant household may consist of one or more of the following:
Beyond meeting the qualifications for Section 8 under what is considered to be a family, the household must have one head of household who is at least 18 years old. The spouse of the head of household can also be the one considered of legal age. If a family’s head of household or spouse to the head of household is not of legal age, then they can also qualify as a legally emancipated minor. As long as the family unit meets the status requirements for a family as outlined by the Housing Authority, then they can move on to seek Section 8 eligibility based on income.
Section 8 income limits in Michigan are a critical component of meeting the eligibility for housing assistance. “Do I qualify for low income housing with what my household earns?” is a common question from prospective applicants. However, the answer may not be as simple as one might expect, especially as income limits for eligibility vary on the Michigan county where the application is being submitted.
In order to be eligible for Section 8, an applicant’s gross total income for the household must not exceed the program income limits for the county in which an applicant lives. Section 8 income limits for applicants will be based off of three limits—low, very low or extremely low income. An applicant must have a total gross income for his or her household that is less than the low income limits in order to qualify. In addition to the income limits per county, there will be variances depending on the composition of the family as well. For instance, the more household members the higher the limits will be. An example of the three tiers of income for a family of three in Ann Arbor, Michigan, would be:
Every year the median income limits for an area will fluctuate based on changing demographics. It is important for applicants to verify with their county of the income limits every year in order to make sure they qualify. Households currently receiving benefits must let the MSHDA know if they experience any changes in income or family composition, which may affect their eligibility.
Besides income limits for Section 8 in Michigan, another stipulation regarding eligibility involves legal presence in the United States and residency in Michigan. Applicants wondering how to qualify for Section 8 housing should first be able to provide documentation regarding U.S. citizenship status or legal resident status. The easiest way to prove citizenship status is by providing a Social Security Number (SSN). Applicants without An SSN can also provide proof of legal presence in order to be eligible for Section 8. At the time of the initial eligibility interview for Section 8 housing, all applicants must provide documentation of SSNs for all family members or at least certify which family members do not have Social Security Numbers.
Outside of income and citizenship qualifications for Section 8 in Michigan, another important aspect of eligibility involves a background check. All adult members of the household must pass a criminal background check in order to be eligible for housing assistance. HUD housing requirements state that applicants will be ineligible for low income housing if they:
The criminal screening for Section 8 housing eligibility can only be conducted when the applicant consents to release personal information. Applicants must allow the MSHDA to receive personal history records from local law enforcement agencies, as well as sex offender registries. Any applicants who do not consent will not be eligible for Section 8. Any applicant who has outstanding debts or issues with previous landlords may find difficulty in qualifying for housing assistance in Michigan.
To contact your Michigan HUD office, click here.