Learn About Section 8 Requirements in Washington

Meeting the Section 8 requirements in Washington means access to low-income housing to qualifying individuals and families. The program mandates certain Section 8 qualifications, and

is federally funded by the Housing and Urban Development program (HUD), but is maintained and administrated on the state and local levels by public housing authorities (PHAs). This is your first stop if you believe you are eligible for low-income housing assistance.

Washington’s Section 8 income limits are determined by each PHA, which sets the limits based on the median income of the area. Each individual PHA in various regions throughout Washington accept applications at different times, as vacancies become available. Each location has its own Section 8 eligibility is based on income, residency and other factors. The PHAs also maintain the waiting list for qualifying applicants. When you apply, you should be aware you could very likely end up on the wait list, and that the wait could be lengthy. Some remain on a waiting list for affordable housing for an average of 24 to 48 months. Finding affordable housing is not a fast process, but once you meet the basic program requirements and are in the system, the sooner you are able to move toward obtaining an affordable living situation. Doing so can go a long way toward helping move you toward greater financial recovery. The following information on Section 8 requirements in Washington can help you get started.

Learn About Washington Section 8 Requirements for Family Status

In Washington, Section 8 eligibility for a family is based upon the public housing authorities’ definition of what qualifies a group of people to be considered a family. The PHA abides by the Housing and Urban Development definition. Because many households are comprised of a wide variety of people and relationships, it is helpful to know what the HUD considers a “family” for purposes of learning how to apply for government housing assistance. Section 8 housing eligibility is offered to:

  • Anyone living a majority of the time with you.
  • Related to you by blood.
  • Anyone who has been legally adopted.
  • A legally married spouse.

If you have children who have been placed into foster care, temporarily, you can claim them as part of your household, even if they are not currently living with you. Section 8 requirements stipulate that any family members who are currently pregnant can count the unborn child/children as family member(s). College students, students living away at school, relatives living in a nursing home or those who are in long-term care can also be counted as part of your family.

You may be asking, “Do I qualify for low income housing if I have others who live with me, but do not fall into the above categories?” In these instances, even if they live with you, they cannot be counted as family members. This can include a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend, a live-in home health aide, foster children you are hosting or temporary guests (even if they visit often).

What are the Section 8 income limits for Washington?

Section 8 income limits for Washington State are dependent on where in the state you live. This is because the program’s income requirements are based on how much you make, in caparison to others in your area. How to qualify for section 8 housing in Washington requires you to be at, or below, at least 50 percent of what others are making in your county. In some areas, such as Kings County, for example, your household income must be at the 80 percent mark, or lower, to qualify. If you are not sure what the median income limit is for your area, your local PHA will have that information, and you can also find it by looking at the most current Census Bureau report.

The PHA that services HUD housing requirements in your area has this information broken down by county, as well, or a quick visit to HUD online can reveal the income limits for your area. Section 8 income requirements also make provisions for you if your family’s income falls below 30 percent of the median income. If so, you fall into the category designated as “very-low income,” and are often given greater priority. Additionally, if you have someone in your home who is a family member and is disabled, over the age of 65 or if you have very young household members (children) then you could receive priority. The programs’ goal is to make certain that the most vulnerable populations, which often include the elderly, disabled and the very young, have access to adequate and safe housing.

Learn About Washington Section 8 Qualifications for Legal Presence and Residency

Aside from Section 8 requirements for income, the U.S. requires all participants in the Section 8 program be a legal resident of the U.S., and a resident of the state in which they are applying. This requirement applies to everyone who will be living in the home with you and whom you listed as a family member. However, there are circumstances were noncitizens are considered if they have an official declaration of eligible immigration status document. Section 8 eligibility may be issued to noncitizens who have an alien registration card, in some circumstances.

Learn About Additional Section 8 Requirements in Washington

Washington Section 8 qualifications require that those taking part in the affordable housing programs have a record of good standing within the state. That means you cannot have a history of non-payment, eviction, late payments or a history of causing damage to a property. If you do, you may, very likely, be considered ineligible for housing assistance. How to qualify for Section 8 housing in WA requires that a criminal background check be conducted when you apply, as those with a criminal record of a serious nature will not be allowed to participate in the program. However, those with a criminal record, not involving crimes of a sexual nature, or crimes related to drugs or drug production, may still be considered for admission to the program. In such cases based on Section 8 requirements, the PHA will review the case and make a ruling. This criminal record check will apply to anyone living in the household as a permanent member.

To contact your Washington HUD office, click here