The Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA) provides rental assistance to thousands of families. They primarily do this through the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, also known as the Section 8 program.
HVC is a federal program that’s funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). However, HUD doesn’t manage the program. The IHCDA oversees Housing Choice Vouchers in the state, and public housing authorities (PHA) throughout Indiana manage the program at the local level.
An Indiana Housing Choice Voucher allows you to rent a home on the private market for a much more affordable rate. Eligible Indiana residents only pay a maximum of 30-40% of their adjusted monthly income on rent, and the voucher covers the rest.
Section 8 Eligibility in Indiana
Funding for Indiana Section 8 programs is limited. In order to serve families who are in the most need, HUD has set eligibility requirements. The local Indiana PHAs will process applications to determine which applicants qualify.
Section 8 Income Limits in Indiana
Eligibility for Indiana Section 8 programs is based on income first and foremost. Those who don’t have a household income at or below the local income limits will be ineligible. It’s important to review the income limits and your personal finances before applying.
Indiana Section 8 Eligibility FAQ
How do I qualify for Section 8 housing in Indiana?
In order to qualify for a Housing Choice Voucher in Indiana, you must first apply to verify you meet the Section 8 requirements.
How do I apply for Section 8 Housing in Indiana?
The Section 8 Housing Indiana Application is provided by your local PHA. Print versions are available at the PHA office, and there may also be an online option. In actuality, you’ll be applying to be put on a waiting list when the list is open (see below).
Can I be disqualified or denied Section 8 assistance?
Yes. There are a number of disqualifiers even if you meet the income limits. You can be disqualified if you have a criminal record, outstanding balances with a landlord and/or Indiana PHA or commit fraud during the application process. Those who’ve already received a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher can be disqualified if they don’t continue to meet the program obligations.
Section 8 Housing Openings in Indiana
As noted above, the application period isn’t open all the time in many Indiana cities. If you are able to apply, you’ll be put on a waiting list after your PHA determines you’re eligible for Section 8 assistance.
Section 8 Waiting Lists in Indiana
Section 8 waiting lists exist because the demand for assistance exceeds the funds for the program. Generally speaking, large metropolitan areas have longer waiting lists. It’s not uncommon for applicants to remain on a waiting list for years at a time.
It should be noted that each Indiana PHA manages its own waiting list. The PHA is in charge of adding applicants to the waiting list, determining how the waiting list is prioritized and removing people from the list if they no longer meet the Section 8 program requirements.
Here’s a brief look at how two Indiana PHAs manage their waiting lists:
South Bend Section 8 Waiting List
The Housing Authority of South Bend has waiting lists for 1-5 bedroom rental units. If you’re on one of the waiting lists you can check your status online.
Indianapolis Section 8 Waiting List
The Indianapolis Housing Agency uses a random lottery to place applicants on their Section 8 waiting list.
Steps to Using Your Indiana Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher
Using your new Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher is much quicker than the wait. Typically, you’ll have to at least 60 days to complete the steps below.
Step 1. Pass the Final Eligibility Interview
Before an Indiana Section 8 voucher will be awarded, the PHA will verify that you still meet the eligibility requirements. They’ll call you in for an interview and will likely ask that you bring certain documentation with you.
Step 2. Find a Home That Qualifies
While the HCV program gives low-income families more living options, not every private rental will qualify. The rental unit you select must meet the Indiana Housing Authority Reasonable Rent Certification and HUD Housing Quality Standards.
Step 3. Schedule the PHA Property Inspection
Before your local PHA will agree to use the voucher they must first verify that the property meets the HUD requirements. They will go out and inspect the property, also noting if it fits the approved rental unit size.
Step 4. Sign the Lease
If the rental unit passes the inspection and the landlord agrees to join the Section 8 program you can sign a lease. The program requires that the lease be at least 12 months long.
Step 5. Stay Compliant With the Program
The PHA will inspect the property at least once a year to ensure you and the landlord are staying compliant. You’ll also need to keep your PHA informed if your information, income or family composition changes.