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Learn About Requirements for Section 8 Housing in New York

The New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) evaluates NY Section 8 requirements and NY Section 8 eligibility for anyone who wishes to receive housing assistance in the state. The HCR evaluates each applicant’s Section 8 qualifications based on the guidelines established by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

To be eligible for the program, applicants must meet income requirements as outlined by the HUD. Specifically, the candidate’s income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the area. The department uses income from wages, Social Security benefits and other federally funded benefit programs when calculating the family’s income. The HUD also requires that each applicant prove legal presence in the U.S. as either a U.S. citizen, eligible non-citizen or refugee.

Keep reading for more information on the Section 8 requirements and Section 8 income limits for the state of New York.

Learn About New York Section 8 Requirements for Family Status

To meet Section 8 housing eligibility, NY applicants must meet requirements for family status. Per Section 8 requirements, a family consists of one or more individuals that live together regardless of relation. To qualify, at least one member of the family must fall into one of the below categories:

  • Head of Household – The head of household is the applicant or voucher holder.
  • Spouse – A spouse refers to an individual who is the partner of the head of household marriage or domestic partnership
  • Elderly Family – An elderly family is one where at least one member is at least 62 years of age. Disabled family: it disabled is one which in which the head of household spouse or single individual is one with a physical that inhibits a person’s ability to gain substantial and gainful appointment.
  • Displaced Family – Displaced one in which the family has been displaced government action or extensively destroyed to a disaster formally recognized by federal disaster relief laws.
  • Remaining Member: a remaining member is a person in the household that does not fall into one of the below categories. Specific examples include foster children, foster adults and live in aides.

In the event of a family breakup, the HCR reevaluates the household to determine which members of the family continue to meet Section 8 eligibility requirements. Family breakups and any other changes in income or family composition should be reported to the HCR as soon as possible. 

What are the Section 8 Income Limits in New York?

New York Section 8 eligibility rules require applicants to meet income guidelines outline program. Section 8 income requirements specify that the household’s income must fall into one of the following categories:

  • Low-Income – Household income at or below 80 percent of the median income for the area
  • Very Low-Income – Household income at or below 50 percent of the median income for the area
  • Extremely Low-Income – Household income at or below 30 percent of the median income for the area

The HCR uses the income of all household members over 16 years old to determine if a family meets the Section 8 income requirements according to HUD guidelines. Income is calculated according the guidelines mentioned below.


Since wages are often the bulk of a family’s income, the HCR takes the wages every household member over the age of 16 years old earns. This includes:

  • Social Security Administration benefits
  • Veterans Affairs benefits
  • Monies received from a federal assistance program such as TANF
  • Earnings from business operations


Assets are excluded from Section 8 income limit calculation. However, the interest earned on those assets are counted. The HCR considers the following as assets:

  • Bank Accounts
  • Real Property
  • Retirement Accounts

Excluded from Income Calculation

Under HUD guidelines, certain funds or kinds of income are not included in the calculation of a family’s yearly income. The following are excluded from income calculations:

  • Student financial aid.
  • Income of family members under 18 years of age.
  • Income of family members temporarily absent from the home. Per Section 8 guidelines a person is considered temporarily absent if they are away from the household for 180 consecutive days or less.
  • Income from full-time students more than $480 for each full-time student over 18 years of age is not included in the income calculation.


The HCR deducts certain expenses from the base income to arrive at an adjusted gross income. The adjusted gross income is the amount used qualify the family for the program. The following expenses are deducted from income and are not included in the Section 8 income limits calculation:

  • Medical Expenses – Certain medical expenses for the head of household or spouse who is near elderly or disabled may be deducted from income.
  • Childcare Expenses – Childcare expenses may be deducted if the cost is incurred to help the adult family member maintain employment, seek employment or advance their education.

Learn About New York Section 8 Qualifications for Legal Presence and Residency

Per New York Section 8 eligibility rules, applicants must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen to be accepted into the program. When evaluating an applicant’s Section 8 qualifications, they must be either of the following:

  • S. citizen
  • Permanent resident
  • Asylee/refugee
  • Cuban/Haitian in entrant paroled into the United States

Each family must provide appropriate documentation to prove their legal presence in the country. Individuals who do not wish to state their citizenship are ineligible for the program. However, the remaining members of the household may still meet Section 8 housing eligibility requirements.

Learn About Additional Section 8 Requirements in New York

To meet Section 8 requirements, New York applicants must provide a valid Social Security number. Per HUD housing requirements, when adding a new member of the household, the candidate must provide documentation of the new family members SSN within 30 days. When adding a family member who is under six years of age, the applicant has 90 days to provide documentation of the individual’s SSN.


To participate in the program, each member of the household must consent to verification of all information contained in the application.

Criminal Background

Family members over 16 years of age must pass a background check. Individuals with a habitual pattern of criminal activity are automatically disqualified for the program. Anyone who has been evicted from federally funded housing due to drug-related criminal activity is automatically denied, as well as any member of the household who has committed bribery or fraud in relation to assisted housing.

Financial Stability/Debt

To meet Section 8 requirements, family members who are 18 years of age or older must consent to collect all information necessary to verify the information contained in the application. Family members who do not sign a consent will be denied for the program.


Anyone evicted from federally-funded assisted housing within the last five years may be denied a housing voucher. Applicants who were evicted from federal or Section 8 housing due to criminal activity will be ineligible for the program for 3 years following the eviction. To regain eligibility status, the evicted family member must show successful completion of a supervised drug rehabilitation program.

To contact your New York HUD office, click here.