Texas Section 8 Housing Program EligibilityUpdated November 9, 2017 Section 8
Section 8 Housing Openings in Texas
Technically it is cited as 42 U.S.C. § 1437f, it is more commonly known as “Section 8.” In Texas, the Section 8 Housing Voucher Program helps lower-income residents and families find affordable housing in the state. Section 8 housing lists are open at different times depending on your city. This defines the time frame in which eligible people can apply for assistance.
Texas’s Section 8 Housing Program
In general, the program “… provides financial assistance for decent, safe and sanitary housing to eligible households…”. These criteria are important because the government does not want landlords receiving public funds for homes that are in disrepair where the tenants could be in danger from faulty wiring or other hazards.
Section 8 Eligibility in Texas
Eligibility is determined under rules established by the federal government (HUD) and administered by each state. Each state, like Texas, can impose other regulations, within reason.
How do you qualify for Section 8 housing in Texas?
To qualify for housing assistance in Texas the Public Housing Authority (PHA) will check your household income, number of people living there and composition. Citizenship is also a factor, as are your assets, and medical and childcare expenses. While some of these factors are uniform across the state, some like the household income, vary from county to county.
How do I apply for Section 8 Housing in Texas?
First, you will need to gather documentation to verify, among other things, income and citizenship. Citizenship is established through your Social Security Number (SSN). If for some reason a person does not have a valid SSN they may sign a legal document to that effect and provide alternate evidence, such as:
- Driver’s license
- Government identification card
- Medical insurance identification card
- Employer or trade union identification card
- Court records
After this, you would need to visit your local PHA to fill out the actual application. All people 18+ years old living in the house must be a part of the application process.
Section 8 Housing Texas Application
The application requires certain information for each member of the household that will be living in the Section 8 property. The governmental agencies involved need to make sure the people receiving the benefits are truly eligible. The data you must supply includes:
- Full names
- Dates of birth
- Social Security Numbers
- Ethnicity and race
- Household status (specify whether any family member is pregnant, disabled or elderly)
- Family size
Texas Section 8 Landlord
The other side of the equation is where approved applicants are going to live. Earlier in the article, we listed some of the very basic requirements that the housing unit must be decent, safe and sanitary. So, once the landlord advises the local PHA they have a property they would be willing to rent, an inspection is done to ensure those minimum criteria are met.
Owners may or may not receive the full monthly rent they could get on the open market. So why would they use the program? One major reason is they know that every single month they will see the HUD share of the rent deposited in their bank account. Each party has duties under the contract and the tenant may be responsible for a part of the rent each month.
Section 8 Waiting List Texas
Houston Section 8 Waiting List
Because of the demand for housing vouchers, the times a PHA opens the list to new applicants can be several years apart and of relatively short duration. The last time the waiting list for the Houston area was open was September 2016 for one week. Prior to that, it was August 2012, also for one week. During the 2016 period, 30,000 applicants were added to the list.
Dallas Section 8 Waiting List
According to Affordable Housing Online, the last time the list was open was April 2017 for one week. Prior to that, it was open in July 2016 for two days and July 2015 for four days.
Steps to Receiving Your Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
After getting a housing voucher, the recipient finds a unit that fits the parameters approved by the PHA (unit size, bedroom count and so forth). This unit may be where the renter already lives, or it may be a new place.
Section 8 Income Limits in Texas
Household income cannot exceed 50% of the HUD median income level for the area. The HUD reported household median income in Harris County (Houston area) is $71,500 for 2017 and in Dallas County (Dallas) it is $73,400. Limits for any covered metropolitan area in the country can be found here.
The housing voucher programs across the country provide a vital safety net for those in need.