Georgia’s Section 8 Housing Program

Calendar Icon Updated February 11, 2019
Section 8

The Georgia Housing Choice Voucher Program, better known as the  Section 8 program, provides housing assistance for lower-income residents. Since the Section 8 program was first implemented, countless  families in Georgia have been able to secure safe, affordable housing  that would otherwise be unattainable. Families that qualify can use  their Housing Choice Voucher to get help covering the cost of monthly  rent.

Housing Choice Vouchers are federally funded by the Department of  Housing and Urban Development (HUD). However, each state is charged with  dispersing funds and managing their own Section 8 program. At the local  level, the Section 8 program is managed by public housing authorities (PHAs) in Georgia.

Section 8 Eligibility in Georgia

Like other states, Georgia limits Section 8 eligibility to families  in serious financial need. The elderly and disabled Georgia residents  can also receive assistance through the Section 8 program.

Section 8 Income Limits in Georgia

The chief eligibility factor for the Section 8 program is household income. HUD has established income limits for each metro statistical area (MSA) in Georgia. The income limits are  based on the MSA’s median household income and the number of persons in  the household.

There are three income brackets: low-income, very low-income and extra low-income.

Georgia Section 8 Eligibility FAQ

How do I qualify for Section 8 housing in Georgia?

In addition to meeting the income limits, Section 8 applicants in  Georgia must be U.S. citizens or have eligible immigrant status.  Eligible applicants will also need to have clean criminal records and be  able to pass a screening process.

How do I apply for Section 8 Housing in Georgia?

When the wait lists are open you can submit an application, however,  Section 8 applications are somewhat unique in Georgia. Only 10 counties  handle their own Section 8 applications. All other applications outside  those counties must be filed through the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Applicant Portal. Contact your local PHA to find out how to apply  and whether there’s an online form that can be submitted.

How much will I pay for rent if I qualify for a Housing Choice Voucher?

Families that use a housing choice voucher pay up to 30% of their monthly household adjusted income on rent.

Section 8 Housing Openings in Georgia

Applications for the Georgia Section 8 program are only accepted  during certain times. When the maximum number of applicants have  applied, the process is closed and the eligible applicants are put on a  waiting list.

Section 8 Waiting Lists in Georgia

The DCA announces when waiting lists are opened to new applicants.  The DCA uses a random lottery system to place applicants on the waiting  lists, but that isn’t the case for all PHAs. Each PHA that handles  Section 8 applications in Georgia manages their own waiting list  placements.

Of the 10 county PHAs, Atlanta and Savannah are among the largest.  Not surprisingly, demand for Section 8 vouchers in these areas is high  and the waiting lists are often closed. For example:

Atlanta Section 8 Waiting List

The Atlanta Housing Authority currently has 30,000 applicants on its waiting list.

Savannah Section 8 Waiting List

The Housing Authority of Savannah issues over 2,400 vouchers for rental homes and apartments.

Steps to Using Your Georgia Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers

If you received a notice that your Housing Choice Voucher is  available you’ll need to act fast to claim it. The DCA or local PHA will  provide details regarding the next steps.

Step 1. Attend the Eligibility Appointment

After being selected for a voucher you’ll have a final interview with the local PHA to verify your eligibility.

Step 2. Find Acceptable Housing

The participant is responsible for finding a rental property with  meets the HUD requirements. It should also meet the voucher suggestions  for rental rate and unit size. Lastly, the landlord must be willing to  join the Section 8 program.

Step 3. Agree to the Lease Terms and Inform the PHA/DCA

The participant and landlord will enter into a lease that is at  minimum 12 months in length. Before finalizing the lease you’ll need to  notify the PHA/DCA. A program representative must inspect the property  and approve it in order for the voucher to be applied. Once the rental  unit is approved the participant and landlord can execute the lease.

Step 4. Comply With All Lease Terms

Georgia Section 8 voucher recipients must comply with all lease terms  and pay rent on time to continue receiving monthly assistance.

Step 5. Pass the Annual Inspection

The PHA will conduct an annual inspection of the property 2-3 months  before the lease ends. The objective is to verify that the rental unit  still meets the HUD requirements. Your eligibility will also be reviewed  to make sure your family still qualifies for assistance.

Eligibility Team

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