Do you live in New Jersey? Have you been experiencing some financial troubles that have left you without a home or on the brink of homelessness? If so, finding safe, affordable and securing housing for you and family is a fast priority. The New Jersey Section 8 Housing Voucher Program helps lower-income residents and families find affordable housing in the state of New Jersey.
How do you know if Section 8 housing is right for you? Or if you’ll qualify? Here are a few answers to some common questions that might come up.
What is New Jersey’s Section 8 Housing Program?
New Jersey’s section 8 housing program assists in providing safe and quality housing choices to low or no income individuals. They provide this service by reducing overall housing costs by instituting rent subsidy payments to landlords who accept the government program.
Qualifying and Determining Section 8 Eligibility in New Jersey
So how is it determined that you’re eligible for an HCV? You must first qualify by applying at your local Housing authority in the county in which you reside in through the state of New Jersey. Before you apply, you’ll have to meet some initial requirements, this includes:
- Citizenship status- Must be a U.S. citizen at the time of application.
- Family eligibility- Everyone in the household must qualify.
- Eviction History- Must not have a prior history of evictions.
- Income- Income limitations are set in place per county, per state.
In order to determine Section 8 eligibility, you’ll need to meet the minimum guidelines before you can go in and submit an application.
What are the Section 8 Income Limits?
You may hear your HUD specialist talk about income limits. These are the limits set forth by the government poverty level. This means you can’t make more than what the limits are, per the number of people in your household. Refer to this income limit list before applying, so you know exactly if you’ll pre-qualify or not.
Applying for Section 8 Housing in New Jersey
Obtaining a Section 8 Housing New Jersey Application means setting up an appointment which serves as a pre-qualification. You’ll need to bring in proof to verify all of your documentation that you’ll be submitting with your application. Steps to Receiving Your Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers may include:
- Paystubs or proof of monthly household income for all adult household members.
- Utility bills.
- Proof of disability if applicable.
- Verification of your existing address.
- Complete background check for each adult household member.
After all of your information is gathered and copies are made, your caseworker will conduct an in-person interview that will be documented for the application. Once that is complete and all information is verified, the application will be submitted to HUD for final approval. This process can take up to 90 days but may be shorter if the waiting list is minimal.
Finding a New Jersey Section 8 Landlord
Once you’ve been approved and you have an HCV in hand, you can start to look for a landlord that accepts an HCV. Once you’ve compiled a list of possible locations, you can start calling each establishment. Tell them right away that you’ve either been approved for a housing voucher or you’re in the process of final approval. Inquire about their rental agreement and how much rent you’ll be responsible for after your voucher is accepted.
Section 8 Housing Openings in New Jersey
If you already have your voucher and you’re looking for an affordable housing unit, HUD finder page is a good place to start. But what types of dwellings qualify for an HCV? Here are just a few examples:
- Low-Income housing tax credit apartments.
- Project-based apartments.
- Section 202 senior apartment projects.
- 811 Disabled apartment projects.
- USDA Rural Development section 515 apartments.
- Public housing apartment communities.
If you already live in an apartment that accepts subsidies, you may just have to talk to your landlord to see if he would start accepting the HCV. If not, you’ll need to start searching for a complex that will accept it and help with rent assistance. Keep in mind, that just because there are housing openings, it doesn’t mean that there will be an apartment or rental availability when you call or apply.
Section 8 Waiting Lists and How They Work
So you’ve called inquiring about section 8 housing limits but they say there is a waiting list. This means that you can start the application now and register, but the program is not enrolling new applicants at this time. Once the waiting list is lifted, you will be contacted for application processing. Names are selected by a random lottery or in some cases, by the date of the application. The Newark Section 8 Waiting List is currently closed, according to The Newark Housing Authority. The Jersey City Section 8 Waiting List is also closed at this time.
Getting help with rent may seem like a daunting process. Being armed with the facts can help make the process smoother and eliminate any hidden surprises.