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Learn About Section 8 Requirements in North Carolina

To meet NC Section 8 requirements, applicants must meet the criteria for a household according to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines for income and residency. Petitioners may receive priority Section 8 eligibility for the program, provided they meet special criteria such as those for the disabled, elderly, homeless or victims of domestic violence. In the state, local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) accept applications for the program and determines each applicant’s eligibility for the program.

To determine Section 8 eligibility, petitioners must know how to apply for Section 8 online or in person. When applying, they must provide evidence that they meet the necessary qualifications for the program. Specifically, they must give the name and Social Security Number for all members of the household as well as income for each member of the family. Keep reading for more information on how to qualify for the Section 8 housing program in the state of North Carolina.

Learn About North Carolina Section 8 Requirements for Family Status

To meet NC Section 8 qualifications, applicants must meet the criteria for a household according to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines. Per HUD Section 8 eligibility guidelines, a household is a single person or group of individuals who live together, regardless of relation. The PHA categorizes each household as either:

  • Individual – One person without children
  • Family – One or more persons with or without children
  • Elderly Family – Family in which the head of household, spouse or single person is 62 years of age or older
  • Near-Elderly Family – A family in which head of household, spouse or single person is between 50 and 62 years of age.
  • Disabled Family – Families in which the head of household, co-head of household or single individual qualifies as disabled. Section 8 guidelines define a disability as a physical or mental impairment that inhibits an individual’s ability to maintain substantial and gainful employment.
  • Displaced Family – A family that has been displaced by governmental action or victims of a natural disaster recognized by Federal disaster relief laws.

Family Breakup and Remaining Tenant Member

The HUD must follow Section 8 housing eligibility guidelines for continuing assistance when members of the household leave the unit. The tenants remaining in a household after members of the home have left are referred to as remaining members of the tenant family. The household’s Section 8 eligibility to continue receiving assistance depends on the circumstances after a change in income or family. If a family breakup occurs due to domestic violence, the victims receive priority status. If the breakup is due to a divorce, the PHA must follow the guidelines in the divorce decree to determine who remains eligible to receive housing assistance.

Absent Family Member

Families may still qualify for the program despite the absence of a family member, provided the absence is temporary. HUD defines a temporarily absent member as someone who is away from the family for less than 180 consecutive days.

Individuals who are away from the family for more than 180 consecutive days due to employment are not considered absent family members and are included as a member of the household. Students away from home are regarded as members of the family for qualification purposes. However, if the student establishes a separate household, the student meets Section 8 requirements and is no longer considered a part of the family.

What are the Section 8 Income Limits in North Carolina?

Applicants for housing assistance must meet the NC Section 8 income limits established by HUD. To determine the family’s section 8 housing eligibility, The PHA calculates the income for the household and categorizes the family into one of the following categories:

Low-Income Family – Income may not exceed 80 percent of the median income for the area

Very Low-Income Family – Income may not exceed 50 percent of the median income for the area

Extremely Low-Income Family – Income may not exceed 30 percent of the median for the area

The PHA gives preference to individuals classified as an extremely low-income family. The PHA may use lower income thresholds if it determines that are an unusually high number of low-income families applying for the program.

What Is Included in the Income Calculation

When calculating income to determine if a household meets Section 8 qualifications, the PHA uses the following from all members of the household over 18 years old:

  • Wages
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Veterans Affairs Benefits
  • Assistance from Federally funded programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

What Is Excluded from the Income Calculation

The PHA deducts a reasonable amount of expenses known as deductions to arrive at an adjusted income. The adjusted income is used to qualify the family for the program. Items excluded from the income calculation when determining a household’s Section 8 eligibility are:

  • Certain medical expenses
  • Childcare expenses are included as long as they are incurred to allow a family member to maintain or seek employment or to pursue their education.
  • Income from anyone under 18 years of age

About Assets

The PHA does not include assets when calculating the household income. However, interest received on those assets are included. Assets excluded from the calculation are:

  • Bank accounts
  • Real estate
  • Investments

Learn About North Carolina Section 8 Qualifications for Legal Presence and Residency

To meet NC Section 8 requirements for assisted housing, petitioners must declare their status in the U.S. as either a citizen, eligible non-citizen or undeclared. To comply with HUD housing requirements, PHA requires applicants to be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen to qualify for the program. Those who do not wish to declare their status are disqualified for the program. However, the remaining members of the household may still qualify if they meet the requirements. U.S. citizens are required to provide a birth certificate to establish their legal presence.

To qualify as a non-citizen applicant must show that they have a valid immigration status as follows:

  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record annotated as “Refugee” or “Asylum.”
  • Temporary Resident Card
  • Employment Authorization Card

Applicants must have an SSN meet Section 8 qualification guidelines. They must provide a copy of their Social Security Card, Driver’s License or other acceptable documentation to verify the number. The requirement does not apply to eligible non-citizens.

Learn About Additional Section 8 Requirements in North Carolina

Households must also meet North Carolina section 8 requirements based on a variety of other factors including criminal history, federal debt or drug abuse. Anyone with a record of habitual criminal activity does not meet section 8 eligibility and is ineligible for the program. Also ineligible are those convicted of drug-related crimes. However, the PHA may consider an applicant with past drug use, if the applicant can show they have completed an approved drug rehabilitation program.

Anyone evicted from federally funded housing within the last seven years does not qualify for the program. Also, any applicant who has committed violence, bribery or fraud against a PHA employee is denied.

When determining Section 8 eligibility, the PHA requires every member of the household over 16 years of age must undergo a criminal background check. Failing to submit to the background check is grounds for denial of entry to the program.

Applicants are also required to agree to provide the necessary documentation and consent to the verification procedures to be eligible for housing assistance. Refusing to allow for verification of information makes the household ineligible for the program.

To contact your North Carolina HUD office, click here.