If you are an immigrant or a local from the state of Florida interested in or considering applying for Section 8, you came to the right site. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) granted a Federal assistance called the Housing Choice Voucher Program that aims at helping low-income families to rent a decent house through subsidies.
Here is to help you start with your Section 8 application in Florida.
1. Check your Eligibility. The Public Housing Agency (PHA) will be assessing your capacity or incapacity to rent a decent house. Unless proven eligible, HAs can turn down your application for subsidized housing. To qualify, you must be:
- An American citizen or a legal Florida immigrant
- An elderly applicant or a disabled person
- You have an annual gross family income that is not more than 50% of HUD’s median income set for the State of Florida and the city where you want are applying for Section 8. If you are not an elderly or handicapped but your income is below 50%, you can still qualify for the program.
2. Check your home rental history. Applicants with eviction backgrounds and criminal records have very slim to almost nil chance of getting approved. If you have some issues that are against the law, talk this out with the HA to see if your case is acceptable. Otherwise, there should be other ways for you to be able to qualify for the same program.
3. Contact the HUD office in your area for inquiry. The first 2 steps above would be for your personal assessment of your qualification and or guide for inquiry. For further and thorough information, contact the HUD office nearest you. Find their contact details through HUD’s Local Directory. Since there are many applicants to this program, there may be limited slots per area for public housing; hence there is a possibility that you may be put on a waiting list to give priority to people with greater needs i.e. homeless, displaced (voluntary) and those who are paying more than 50% of the income. The PHA may advise you to consider applying in different cities or areas depending on your qualification. This step is important for you to fully understand how this program works and to ask pertinent questions that will help you in your application.
4. Process your application. In filling out forms, it is necessary that you use pen and should NOT type it. The following are important information to be asked in the application form to determine your eligibility: complete information of the people living with you or the house you are renting; current address and contact information; family characteristics or situations that may qualify you for tenant selection preferences; projected annual gross income for the following year and the source of income; names and address of employers, banks and others to validate your family composition, income and payables; and an interview with you and your household for assessment. Other documents like birth certificate, income tax return, bank statements and so on may be needed.
5. Wait for the notification. The HA will notify you if are eligible for the program and put you on the waiting list unless you are prioritized. You will also get a notification of ineligibility that you may or may not request for an informal hearing.
The PHAs are always ready and willing to assist you in your needs and inquiry. Make sure you communicate with them and ask questions for your own understanding. Good luck!