Section 8 is a program that helps people with low-income pay for housing. Because it is the state rather than federal, the rules may be different from state to state. So if you are moving from someplace else, or have familiarized yourself with Section 8 in another state, here is what you need to know about the Section 8 program in Michigan:
Section 8 Eligibility in Michigan
In Michigan, the Section 8 program is called the Housing Choice Voucher program. It is funded by the federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program and is administered by Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). Income limits for eligibility are determined by HUD for each state. In Michigan, the three tiers of income limit are as follows:
For a family of four
- FY 2017 Low-Income (80%) Limit (LIL) $51,300
- FY 2017 Very Low-Income (50%) Limit (VLIL) $32,050
- FY 2017 Extremely Low-Income Limit (ELIL) $19.250
Those amounts are based on average income in the state. They can vary a little depending on the county. It is also important to note that income is not the only requirement to be met. Eligibility also depends on the following:
- US citizenship or legal alien status
- Criminal background check
- Current with child support payments
Priority is given to the homeless, people with small children, pregnant women, the elderly, and the disabled.
How do I apply for Section 8 housing in Michigan?
You can get started with the application process online with the Waiting List Pre-application. The following information will be required:
- Full legal name
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Annual Income from all sources (before taxes or deductions)
- If necessary, contact information for the person who will assist with completing future paperwork
There are a couple of important disclaimers. Filling out the form does not guarantee you a place on the waiting list. And you can only apply once. Additional applications will not be accepted if you have already applied.
You can apply at anytime when the waiting list is open. Your best chance of getting on the waiting list is to apply to the county where you presently live or work. You will get a confirmation number. With that, you can check your waiting list status within 48 hours.
Michigan Section 8 Landlord
To receive payments from the MSHDA, you must submit proof that you are the legal owner of the rental, and that you are paid up on all property taxes. An easily obtained document that would serve as proof is a copy of an insurance policy that shows the landlord as the owner of the property. A statement from the local tax authority that you are current is sufficient for the tax verification.
To be eligible for Section 8 payments, the rental must pass inspection. The Housing Choice Voucher program provides the renter a great deal of flexibility. They can even remain in their current rental provided it meets HUD standards. The property will be reinspected annually.
Section 8 Waiting List Michigan
There is no set period for how long you will be on the waiting list before you are officially in the program. Nor can you apply wherever you like at any time. You can only apply to a county with an open waiting list.
Counties are open for approximately 3 months at a time. You can see the current list of open counties here. A development in Kent County, home of Grand Rapids, opened August 29, 2017. Presently, there is no information about when Detroit’s Wayne County will be open.
The Housing Assessment and Resource Agency Service Contact List contains contact information for agencies that can qualify applicants for homeless preference. Homeless veterans may qualify for VASH vouchers. Contact your VA case manager to apply.
The Most Important Step to Receiving Your Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
The most important thing you can do to give yourself the best chance of receiving Section 8 Housing Choice vouchers is to fill out your application correctly. Any incorrect information or discrepancy will result in an automatic rejection. So before you start filling out the application, be sure that you have all the necessary information. And double-check for errors.
If you have a disability, or for any reason you feel you need help filling out the application, you can call and get assistance. Reasonable accommodation will be provided. Remember, you can only fill out one application. It is better to take a little extra time to get help and doing it right than to do it quickly and make a mistake.