The Section 8 program was established in 1937 through the Housing Act. Its original purpose was to assist low-income families in finding suitable places to live. This purpose still holds true today, as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) still maintains the program and its priorities.
More often than not, families who reside in low-income housing in Alaska sacrifice the safety and sanitary conditions of a place for the sake of affordability. Consequently, this program aims to lift the financial burden from needy families so that they may improve their quality of life.
If you qualify for Section 8 housing in Alaska, you can receive housing choice vouchers. During your enrollment, the local Public Housing Agency (PHA) will submit a voucher every month to your landlord. Then, you may cover the remaining cost of the rental. Note that HUD housing is not only for apartments. Instead, you may be able to move into a modest house, condo or another approved form of housing.
In Alaska, the housing choice voucher program assists 19,000 seniors, veterans, working families and people with disabilities. 15 percent of those beneficiaries are seniors, 24 percent have a disability and 62 percent are part of a family with children. Without this program, many residents of Alaska would be homeless. Read below to learn about Alaska Section 8 eligibility requirements, the application process and more.
Discover Alaska Section 8 Requirements
Section 8 requirements in Alaska are relatively simple. However, proving meeting requirements is a little more complicated. There are three main factors that influence your eligibility:
- The total annual gross income of your household
- The size of your family
- Your citizenship status in the U.S.
Your annual gross income refers to the combined incomes of all working family members. It is the amount of money you earn in one year before taxes are taken out. In general, your gross income may not exceed 50 percent of the median income in your area.
However, the rules regarding Section 8 qualifications in Alaska allow for certain deductions. Moreover, if you have a child who is 17 years of age or younger who holds a job, his or her income will not be counted. On the other hand, the unearned income received by your child may be counted.
If your child is 18 years of age or older, attends school and holds a job, some of his or her income may be counted toward your total. Your local PHA will not count foster care payments or payments for adoption assistance.
You may meet Section 8 eligibility in Alaska if you earn 30 percent or less than the median income in your area. According to the housing laws of the program, PHAs are required to offer 75 percent of their vouchers to families with these extremely low incomes. However, it is important to remember that no applicant is guaranteed a housing choice voucher, as closed waitlists and high demand must be taken into account.
As your PHA examines your income in comparison to the local Section 8 income limits, the number of residents in your household will also be factored into the final decision. This is because two families with the same level of income may be placed in different eligibility categories depending on their sizes.
In addition, your PHA will consider how many members of your family are children or have a severe disability or illness. If you have a disabled or significantly ill family member, you may be paying more in out-of-pocket medical expenses than other Section 8 applicants, which makes you a priority.
Lastly, Section 8 housing eligibility in Alaska depends on your U.S. citizenship or legal status. You must be a resident of Alaska in order to apply for housing assistance in the state. As such, you must be able to provide a document that verifies your legal residency, such as a birth certificate or a green card.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Alaska
If you are wondering how to submit a Section 8 application in Alaska, make sure to contact your PHA beforehand. Overall, application methods may vary from agency to agency. As a result, it is important to inquire about different application procedures for your area, as determined by local PHAs.
You may be able to contact your local PHA by phone or email. In order to find the right PHA, use the state’s list of available agencies. If you want to visit the office in person, make sure to contact the PHA first for business hours and walk-in policies.
When you apply for Section 8, you must be prepared to provide proof of your identity, job, tax returns and more. Having the appropriate documents readily available may simplify the process for you and your local PHA. As an example, you will be asked to provide the following information:
- The names and ages of your family members
- The employment status of each family member
- Employment information on working family members
- The number of dependents in your family
- Whether any family members are disabled or have a serious illness
- Whether you receive monetary assistance for fostering or adopting children
In addition, the available methods for submitting your Section 8 housing application in Alaska will depend on your PHA. For instance, some PHAs may allow you to complete a certain portion of the application online, while others may require you to print, fill out and send the completed form by mail.
Once your application is submitted, you may receive notice about an interview. Interviews are standard during this process, because they give PHAs a chance to inquire about your current circumstances and review any documentation that was inadequate or improperly filled out. You will also have the chance to ask any lingering questions about the program.
Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in Alaska
You will be placed on a Section 8 waiting list in Alaska if you are approved for housing assistance. Generally, waiting lists are in place due to the extremely high demand for vouchers. In fact, as a result, many PHAs across the country have closed their waitlists indefinitely.
The frequency at which you may check your Section 8 waiting list status will depend on your PHA. Remember, however, that you will be notified very quickly if you reach the top of the list. If you have recently become homeless, your PHA is likely to make your case a priority.
If you do receive a notice, your eligibility will be checked once more before you can begin receiving vouchers. This is because your eligibility may have changed during the time it took for you to reach the top of the list.
Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in Alaska
An Alaska Section 8 housing list contains homes in your area that have been approved for the housing choice voucher program. This means that your PHA has visited the apartment, condo or house and determined that it was safe and sanitary. It also means that the current landlord is approved to do business with PHAs.
If you are approved for vouchers, you may begin searching for a new place to live through the Section 8 housing network. Keep in mind that the process for selecting a home may vary depending on your area.