What Qualifications Do You Need for Section 8

With the Section 8 Program, you will find that there are four main eligibility requirements that define whether you qualify for financial assistance or not. It’s important to keep in mind that even though the specifics will vary by area, these four requirements will be what is considered when determining eligibility. The four main requirements are:

  • Family Status
  • Level of Income
  • Citizenship
  • History of Eviction

If you want the program to accept you, then you will need to meet all of the eligibility requirements. Additionally, you need to think about the fact that you will likely be wait-listed. This is because there are many households who are applying and not enough available assistance. 

Family Status Requirement

There are eligibility requirements that your family needs to meet to be eligible for Section 8 assistance. The Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) has made their own definition of a family. But, they have offered authorization flexibility to your local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) of their own definition of family, too. You should reach out to your local PHA to find out whether your family qualifies. There are more definitions to a family than you may realize. Also certain families like those with disabled individuals or elderly individuals may be able to find themselves as a preferred family.

But, the following conditions define whether you qualify or not, on a general level. These requirements are as follows:

  • At least one person is over 62 years old.
  • Have children.
  • Households that have one or more people in the family that have a disability.
  • Families that have been displaced from their home. This displacement could have happened for a wide range of reasons.
  • A tenant who does not vacate from a unit after the rest of the household leaves the unit. Additionally, the tenant’s family must already get Section 8 assistance.
  • Or, a single individual that does not meet any of the above conditions.

Income Level Requirement

Another factor that you should keep in mind is the level of income requirement. The Section 8 Program helps low-income individuals and households that require the most assistance. That means that your family’s income per year must be below a certain amount, in order to be eligible. Additionally, your family’s income determines how much financial relief you will get. You might find that your overall level of income must fall under one of these categories, which are “low income”, “very low income”, and “extremely low income”.

If you want to better understand the categories of income and where you land, then you should think about checking out the HUD website. This website has information that can provide you information on your income-level position. If you know how much you will get, then you can prepare yourself for your next step. You can also get in touch with your local PHA. They are also a hub of information since they are the ones to manage the program.

Citizenship Status Requirement

Another requirement that defines your eligibility is your citizenship. There is a chance that you will be eligible for Section 8 Assistance as a non-American citizen. American citizens or anyone with an eligible immigrant status have access to housing vouchers. You can define your eligibility in the HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Guidebook.

Eviction History Requirement

The final component to the Section 8 Program is the history of eviction. Your history of eviction lets the program know about the type of tenant you would be. There is a chance that you might be unreliable or reckless with your housing unit. This is why an individual will likely  not be eligible under the following circumstances:

  • Faced eviction from a property throughout the last three years because of drug-related criminal activity.
  • Have been sentenced due to methamphetamine production in assisted project housing.


In conclusion, there are four main eligibility requirements that you need to meet, in order to qualify for the Section 8. The four main eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Family Status
  • Level of Income
  • Citizenship
  • History of Eviction

Make sure that you try to meet the eligibility requirements to the best of your abilities. Additionally, you should keep in mind that you could be wait-listed. For any questions you will want to get in touch with your local PHA. They will be able to provide you information on the program and help you with the application process! 

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