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Section 8 requirements in Vermont include matters of family status, household income, legal presence and residency. You must also meet other Section 8 qualifications including having a background clear from disqualifying activities and behaviors. You must also meet any specific requirements different from or additional to those for the rest of the state imposed by your local PHA. Since HUD housing requirements may differ in some jurisdictions, be sure you know the specific requirements of any jurisdiction where you may apply.
Once you submit your application for Vermont Section 8 housing assistance and start to receive benefits, you must still continue to maintain eligibility, including meeting reporting requirements. You must also consent to let the PHA use the information about you and your family that it collects through your application for data analysis purposes.
When you apply for Section 8 housing assistance in Vermont, you must give the full name and birthdate of every member of the family who will be living in the housing unit with you. HUD housing requirements define a family as any person or group of people who reside together and whose income goes toward maintaining the household. An individual living alone may also qualify as a household. The individuals constituting a family of more than one person do not have to be related, but may be related by a legal process or by blood or marriage.
Regardless of size, the family may or may not include children, seniors, near-seniors, disabled individuals or displaced individuals. The remaining member of a family receiving Section 8 assistance maintains eligibility as a family. Under certain circumstances, Section 8 eligibility is also granted to students attending a college or university and members of the military stationed elsewhere. Special eligibility rules and requirements also exist for family members temporarily absent for other reasons.
Live-in aides and foster kids are not counted as family in the determination of Section 8 eligibility or the level of assistance for which a family qualifies. However, approved household members may live with a family receiving Section 8 housing assistance. In addition to the household meeting family status and income eligibility requirements, each member of the family listed on the application must be fully eligible for Section 8 in order for the family to be eligible as a whole. That means each member must meet all other eligibility requirements besides family status and income. The PHA for an area also has the legal discretion to decide an individual or group not meeting all of these criteria still qualifies as a family for Section 8 eligibility in that area. The person claiming responsibility for the family’s application and participation in the Section 8 program is considered to be the Head of Household.
To be eligible for Section 8 benefits in Vermont your family income must meet Section 8 income requirements. According to these requirements, your household’s annual gross income must qualify as low, very low or extremely low. The lower your income level, the more likely you are to receive Section 8 assistance and the greater the assistance is likely to be. A minimum of 75 percent of families approved for Section 8 assistance in Vermont are in the extremely low income category.
Low income is considered no greater than 80 percent of the median income for a family of the same size in a given area. Very low income is no more than 50 percent of that income. Extremely low income is no more than 30 percent of either that income or the poverty level federally. Because exact income levels differ in different parts of Vermont, to find out how to qualify for section 8 housing income limits in a particular part of the state, you must check with each local PHA to find out the exact income limits for that area. In addition, since Section 8 income limits differ in different parts of the state, you may qualify in some areas but not others, or qualify at one level in some areas and at another level in others.
For the family to meet Section 8 eligibility, at least one member of the family must be either a U.S. citizen or national have other approved legal presence in the country. In addition, the more U.S. citizens or nationals or immigrants with approved legal status there are in a family, the greater that family’s likelihood of being approved as meeting Section 8 housing eligibility and the quicker that approval may be granted. Every family member listed on the application who has a Social Security Number must provide it. Every family member on the application must also sign a declaration of citizenship declaring whether they are a citizen, national or eligible noncitizen. If a family member refuses to sign this declaration, that member is considered an ineligible noncitizen. If the family member is a minor, a parent or legal guardian must sign the declaration for him or her.
If you are wondering how to qualify for Section 8 housing beyond meeting the preceding eligibility requirements, the answer is to have a background free of disqualifying offenses. Criminal activity drug-related behaviors are disqualifying offenses for Section 8 assistance. If you want to know what else affects the answer to the question, “Do I qualify for low income housing?” it is your history as a renter. Your tenant history must be clear of evictions from previous Section 8 housing and violations of law occurring in the immediate vicinity of one.
If any information you provide to a PHA changes or needs to be corrected once you submit an application or after your application is approved, you must inform the PHA immediately. If you fail to provide any needed corrections or relevant updates and the PHA finds out, your application could be delayed or denied or your Section 8 housing assistance suspended.
To contact your Vermont HUD office, click here.