The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

What is the Section 8 Program?

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program provides rental assistance to low income households renting decent and safe housing from private landlords throughout Kings County. The program is funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

How does the Section 8 process work?

  • Interested people apply for assistance and are placed on a waiting list.
  • The Housing Authority selects families from its waiting list. The applicants are scheduled for update appointments in order for the Housing Authority to obtain the necessary income and family composition information to establish eligibility for the program.
  • Eligible applicants are invited to an orientation, where they are issued a Housing Choice Voucher and given a packet of information about the program. Housing Authority staff explain how the rental assistance program works and answer questions.
  • Voucher holders are given 60 days to look for housing. Voucher holders who were Kings County residents when they originally applied for assistance may elect to transfer their Section 8 assistance immediately to another county. Voucher holders who originally applied from outside of Kings County must reside in the County for one year under the Section 8 Program before they are allowed to transfer their assistance.
  • Owners use their own criteria to select tenants. The Housing Authority does not screen participants.
  • The owner and prospective tenant complete and return paperwork to the Housing Authority.
  • The Housing Authority ensures units are decent, safe, and sanitary by conducting initial inspections. The owner will be provided with a list of repairs, if any, that need to be made before the unit can be approved. Once the repairs have been made, the inspector will re-inspect the residence.
  • Owners may collect their normal security deposits.
  • The Housing Authority and the Owner sign a Housing Assistance Payments Contract. Housing assistance payments will begin effective the day after the unit passes inspection or the day the voucher holder moves into the unit, whichever comes later.
  • The first rental assistance payment check to the landlord may be delayed pending return of signed contracts. Subsequent rental assistance checks will be issued during the first week of each month.
  • At least once a year Section 8 participants will meet with Housing Authority staff to update information about household composition, income, assets, and deductions. An inspection of the rental unit will also be made annually to ensure the home is still meeting basic housing quality standards.
Things to Remember:

When you come to your update appointment, please bring verification of family
composition, citizenship status, and all of your family's income and assets. Examples include birth certificates, proof of citizenship or legal status, Social Security Cards,
picture IDs for all adults, employment information, welfare Passport to Services,
verification of disability or unemployment insurance benefits, verification of pensions, alimony, and child support, bank statements, proof of full-time student status if 18 or
older, verification of medical expenses if elderly/disabled, and child care expense verification.

Additional Program Information

Your contribution towards rent is based on your family's monthly adjusted income or minimum contribution, the payment standard for the bedroom size allocated to you, and the gross rent (rent plus utility allowance) for the unit you select.

The maximum rental subsidy is the payment standard minus your total tenant payment. The total tenant payment is the highest of:

  • 30% of adjusted income
  • 10% of total monthly income
  • the welfare rent
  • minimum rent ($50)

If the gross rent (rent + utility allowance) is greater than your payment standard, you will pay the total tenant payment plus the amount the gross rent exceeds the payment standard.

At your initial lease-up, if the rent to owner plus utility allowance is more than the payment standard, assistance may only be approved if your family share is not more than 40% of your monthly adjusted income.

The inspector will determine whether or not the amount of rent requested is reasonable based on rents for similar properties. Housing Authority staff will help participants attempt to negotiate a reasonable rent with the landlord. The Housing Authority can not approve assistance for a unit that doesn't have reasonable rent.

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