The Housing Choice Voucher Program is one of two Section 8 programs managed by the Arizona Department of Housing. Funding for the program comes from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Funds are distributed to the state, which manages Section 8 programs at the local level through public housing authorities (PHAs).
Those who receive a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher will get assistance covering monthly rent expenses. The goal is to help Arizona families in need afford safe housing.
Section 8 Eligibility in Arizona
The demand for housing assistance in Arizona is high, however, HUD has a limited amount of funds for Section 8 assistance. This means not everyone will be able to take advantage of Section 8 benefits in Arizona.
PHAs in Arizona are tasked with processing applications and determining who is eligible to take part in the Section 8 voucher program. Each Arizona PHA is given a fixed number of vouchers so eligibility is primarily based on financial need. Some PHAs may also give special preference to families, elderly and disabled individuals in extreme need.
Section 8 Income Limits in Arizona
Before applying for a Housing Choice Voucher check the Arizona income limits. The income limits are based on median household income for each metropolitan statistical area (MSA). That means the loan limits vary by city or county. Applicants with household incomes that exceed the limits will be disqualified.
Arizona Section 8 Eligibility FAQ
How do I qualify for Section 8 housing in Arizona?
To qualify for Section 8 Housing in Arizona you’ll need to meet the income requirements mentioned above. Applicants must also not have any serious criminal convictions or outstanding balances with a landlord.
How do I apply for Section 8 Housing in Arizona?
In order to receive an Arizona Housing Choice Voucher, you must first fill out an application. You’ll have to provide information about all household income, family composition, other assistance that’s being received and housing history.
Where can I find an Arizona Section 8 Application?
Applications are available through your local PHA. All PHAs should have copies of the application at their office. Some Arizona housing authorities also provide an online application through their websites.
How much will I pay for rent if I qualify for a Housing Choice Voucher?
HUD requirements state that all Section 8 voucher recipients will pay up to 30% of their adjusted monthly income towards rent. The voucher will cover the remaining balance.
Section 8 Housing Openings in Arizona
Many Arizona PHAs only accept applications for short periods. Once the application period ends, all applicants are put on a waiting list until a voucher is available.
Section 8 Waiting Lists in Arizona
There is a waiting list at each PHA in Arizona. Some waiting lists are extremely long and it can take years to get a voucher. How soon you’ll receive a voucher depends on where you are on the waiting list.
How waiting lists are prioritized is decided by the individual PHA. Below are two examples of how waiting lists work in Arizona.
Phoenix Section 8 Waiting List
The City of Phoenix housing authority use a lottery system to prioritize their waiting list.
Tucson Section 8 Waiting List
In Tucson the PHA doesn’t announce waiting list positions. Applicants must keep their information up-to-date and wait until it’s their turn for a voucher.
Steps to Using Your Arizona Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher
Applicants can spend years on a waiting list before receiving a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher in Arizona. Once the voucher is available, the participant will have to attend an interview at their PHA to verify eligibility and take additional steps to ensure they receive the housing assistance they’ve been waiting for.
Step 1. Find Housing That Meets the HUD Requirements
Arizona Section 8 recipients can choose a house, townhome or apartment in the private market. However, the rental unit must meet the HUD housing quality standards.The landlord must also be willing to participate in the Section 8 voucher program.
Step 2. Notify the PHA
The local PHA will need to inspect the property to verify that it meets the HUD standards for health and safety. The rent will also be examined to make sure the unit is appropriately priced.
Step 3. Finalize the Lease
After the PHA inspection you and the landlord can finalize the lease. One of the only requirements is that the lease be at least 12 months long. The landlord will also enter into a Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract with the PHA.
Step 4. Comply With the Lease and Program Terms
Once you receive an Arizona housing voucher you have to comply with the lease terms and program guidelines to continue getting assistance. If you fail to make payments on time, commit fraud or are convicted of a crime your eligibility can be denied. Participants are also expected to inform the PHA if there are any income or family composition changes.
Step 5. Complete the Annual PHA Review
If your financial status hasn’t changed you can continue receiving Section 8 assistance in Arizona after the first year. The local PHA will review your eligibility as well as the status of the rental unit. Two to three months before the lease expires the PHA will inspect the property to verify that it still meets the HUD standards. If you wish to move you can do so, but you must notify the housing authority in advance.