Arizona’s Section 8 Housing Program

Eligibility Team
Researcher & Writer
December 13, 2017

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.

Eligibility Team
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Eligibility Team
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