House rents are way too high to be afforded by a person with average wages. A government policy that can help such people get suitable housing can be a powerful booster for the economy. Thankfully, since 1974, the Government is committed to providing relief to eligible households through a housing program known as section 8.
Section 8 is a housing program that provides rental assistance to families with low wages who cannot bear their housing expenses. Its housing choice voucher program’s primary purpose was to help people with low wages to find decent housing and an appropriate living environment.
People who meet the criteria can apply for the program and receive their vouchers. Once their application is accepted and a voucher is issued, they can start finding a suitable house or apartment to live in. Based on the voucher, the local housing authority will pay their rent directly to landlords.
Eligibility criteria for Section 8
When you apply for section 8, your eligibility is checked based on a preset criteria. To be eligible, one should fulfill the four main requirements, which are:
- Family status.
- Income level.
- Eviction history.
If you do not fulfill any of the four requirements, you will not be eligible for section 8. Moreover, there is a set of family obligations that you should fulfill. If you meet all four requirements but have violated any family obligation, your housing voucher can be rejected.
Understanding income level and assets
To be eligible, your income must fall below the specific percentage of the area’s median income set by the Government. These limits are subjected to change every year for different states and variable-sized families.
The income level requirement also covers every family member’s income and the assets that are a source of income. Reporting all assets owned by any of the family members is a must.
Generally, there is no asset limit for section 8 because asset value doesn’t affect your eligibility. It is the income that comes from your assets and is counted in for estimating your eligibility.
Can your bank balance affect your eligibility for Section 8?
The amount saved in your bank accounts is also an asset. If they do not produce any income, the housing authority will not include them in estimating your annual income.
Your bank balance can be your inheritances, pension, insurance settlements, profit from selling a property, lump-sum cash, profit from a business partnership, lottery or prize or prize bond.
Lump-sum cash can be or cannot be your asset. If you have used the entire amount for paying bills and are left with nothing, it cannot be counted as your asset. On the other hand, if you save your payout in your bank account, it will be counted as your asset.
If your bank balance is less than $5,000, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be interested in knowing your income from this balance. For example, if you have saved your balance in an interest-bearing account, that interest will be counted as your income and included in your annual income.
Contrarily, if your bank balance is equal to or more than $5,000, the HUD will not take it lightly. Your credit will be analyzed carefully.
Your annual income will be compared with the percentage of your total assets. If your assets’ percentage is greater than your yearly income, the HUD will use that percentage and estimate your eligibility.