applying for section 8 in Florida
How to Apply for Florida Section 8
Low income families living in the state of Florida can apply for affordable housing through Section 8, also known as Housing Choice Voucher Program. The program offers financial assistance to struggling households so that they can afford to pay for their housing. The assistance can be used for paying a portion of rent or buying a new home.
Florida Section 8 (Housing Choice Voucher Program) can help households that can’t afford to pay their rent. With the help of Section 8 grant, households will be able to survive and pay their rent. The program will provide decent and safe housing.
There are two different ways to use Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8). Qualified applicants can use their vouchers to live in units located in subsidized housing projects. They can also use become tenants by finding an affordable private home. Beneficiaries can get single family homes, townhouses, and apartments according to size and their requirements.
The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers the federal aid for Section 8 program while Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) manage the program locally ensuring that Housing Choice Voucher Program is available to everyone in the state of Florida. PHAs have subsidized housing units to assist Section 8 beneficiaries. These beneficiaries can also choose private residence. In that case, PHA will pay a part of total rent to ease off the burden on the low-income households. You can find a subsidized apartment in Florida using this link (http://www.hud.gov/apps/section8/step2.cfm?state=FL%2CFlorida).
In case a recipient is living in a subsidized housing unit, PHA will be its landlord. The agreement will a lease between PHA and recipient. The lease will last as long as the tenant meets requirements of the contract and has income below the minimum income level set for the program. Typically, households will pay up to 30% of their total income after deductions for rent. If the household doesn’t meet income or other requirements anymore, it will need to find a home in private housing community at affordable rent.
PHA will give priority to certain households depending on the needs of the community. The purpose of giving priority is to ensure that only the most needy households get the assistance from Section 8 program. You can ask your local PHA about priorities offered in the community.
Who can Qualify for Section 8?
To get assistance from Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8), you will need to meet the following requirements for the program.
You should be a citizen of U.S or a legal immigrant to be eligible for Public Housing benefits.
You should be a good tenant according to the standards set for the program. The program doesn’t enroll applicants who have been reported for gross misconduct or have been evicted from Public Housing or any other Section 8 facility due to drug use or drug-related criminal activity.
Applicants should meet the definition of family unit set for Florida Section 8 Program. According to the definition of family for the program, a single person or a group of people can be considered a family unit. The program will classify families as family with children, an elderly family, a displaced family, a disabled family, and a single person family.
Applicants should meet the income requirements for the program which are set at 30% of the state median level. You can find details of the income limits for different counties in Florida here (http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/il/il13/fl.pdf).
How to Apply
To apply for Florida Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8), you will need to visit your local PHA office. You can find your local PHA on the web using this link (http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/states/florida/renting/hawebsites).
Alternatively, you can also find contact details for your local PHA here (http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/pha/contacts/states/fl.cfm).
When you are applying for Public Housing, you will need to submit a written application. You can either fill the application form by yourself or ask a PHA worker to help you with it. At the time of making the application, PHA will require information about your family, estimated income, and information about your current and previous landlords.