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Learn About Section 8 Requirements in Wisconsin

Section 8 requirements are in place to provide Wisconsin rent assistance to eligible low-income families. Eligibility is determined by annual gross family income and whether families qualify for elderly or disabled status.

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires all adults seeking rent assistance to sign an authorization of information release. All information provided by section 8 candidates will be subject to verification by the local public housing authority. To meet section 8 qualifications, applicants must fit required income limits and may only have one family residence. A Wisconsin housing authority representative will interview candidates to determine their suitability as tenants.

Learn About Wisconsin Section 8 Requirements for Family Status

Section 8 eligibility guidelines define a family as individuals who live together and does not require them to be legally related. However, HUD does have a few exceptions to the rule. Those who live with the family but can be excluded from the family count are:

  • Live-in aides who reside with the family to care for the elderly or disabled.
  • Foster children.
  • Short- or long-stay guests.

Additionally, HUD requires some members to be included in the count even if they do not live with the family. Individuals who are absent but must still be counted towards the family number are:

  • Children who are temporarily absent for out-of-home care, an extended hospital stay or school.
  • Children who are shared by joint custody.
  • Unborn children of pregnant women.
  • Children in the process of being adopted.
  • Family members in the hospital or a rehabilitation center permanently or temporarily.

What are the Section 8 income limits in Wisconsin?

Section 8 income limits are determined by HUD and updated each year. Qualifications for low income housing are broken into three income groups:

  1. The low-income bracket is defined as a family that earns 80 percent of the median family earning for the district.
  2. Families qualify as very low income at 50 percent of the median earning.
  3. Extremely low income is marked at 30 percent of the area’s median household income.

The median family income in Wisconsin is $74,700 per year. Based on that number, the Wisconsin Section 8 income requirements are:

  • One-person families qualify as low income with annual gross earnings of $41,850, very low income with $26,150 and extremely low income at $15,700.
  • Two-person families qualify as low income at $47,800, very low income at $29,900 and extremely low income at $17,950.
  • Three-person families qualify as low income with gross annual earnings of $53,800, very low income with $33,600 and extremely low income with $20,150.
  • Four-person families qualify as low income at $59,750, very low income at $37,350 and extremely low income at $22,400.
  • Five-person families qualify as low income at $64,550, very low income at $40,350 and extremely low income at $24,200.
  • Six-person families qualify as low income at $69,300, very low income at $43,350 and extremely low income at $26,000.
  • Seven-person families qualify as low income at $74,100, very low income at $46,300 and extremely low income at $27,800.
  • Eight-person families qualify as low income at $78,900, very low income at $49,300 and extremely low income at $29,600.

It is important to note that HUD requires all housing authorities to issue 75 percent of their new housing vouchers to families who qualify as extremely low income.

Learn About Wisconsin Section 8 Qualifications for Legal Presence and Residency

To benefit from Section 8 eligibility, candidates in Wisconsin must be at least 18 years of age and a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen. Citizens must provide proof of citizenship for all family members and disclose the Social Security Numbers of all family members older than 6 years of age. All information provided by the family is subject to verification, and a representative from the housing authority might request additional documentation.

Non-citizens will have to provide proof of their immigration status in order confirm their Section 8 housing eligibility. The categories of non-citizens who are qualified for housing choice vouchers include:

  • Legal permanent residents.
  • Refugees.
  • Human trafficking survivors and their relatives.
  • Parolees.
  • Individuals granted 1986 amnesty status.
  • Withholding grantees.
  • Asylees.
  • Conditional entrants to the U.S.

Learn About Additional Section 8 Requirements in Wisconsin

Each county in Wisconsin has its own public housing authority and Section 8 waiting list. Some waiting lists are currently closed, and applicants should check with the HUD to see which counties are accepting new applications.

The Rent Assistant Program (RAD) in Wisconsin currently favors applicants who have been involuntarily displaced, are spending more than 50 percent of their income on rent or families living in substandard housing. Housing authorities in WI alternate between providing assistance to those families most qualified and those at the top of the waiting list.

Families who have disabled, elderly or veteran status may also qualify for preferential selection based on the HUD housing requirements. The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM) partners with Milwaukee Veteran Affairs to provide Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH). Other counties have similar programs, and veteran can contact the housing authority or their local VA for assistance on how to qualify for Section 8 housing.

Reasons an eligible candidate might receive a Section 8 denial letter include previous evictions, an unclean home or any money owed to the housing authority. Potential beneficiaries who are rejected from the waiting list have the right to appeal a section 8 denial in an informal hearing.

If you have asked “Do I qualify for low income housing?”, contact your county housing authority to ask how to apply to section 8 and check information about Wisconsin Section 8 waiting lists.

To contact your Wisconsin HUD office, click here.