Section 8 in Arizona is a housing assistance program that helps low-income families afford safe and sanitary homes. The name refers to section 8 of the 1937 Housing Act, which was established and maintained by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Today, this program helps millions of Americans across the country.
If you are looking for low income housing in Arizona, this program may provide the assistance that you need. First, you must determine whether or not you are eligible to enroll and explore the available application methods. Then, if you qualify for the program, you may be placed on a waitlist.
There are approximately 107,100 beneficiaries of the HUD housing program in Arizona. 70 percent of these beneficiaries are seniors, children or residents with disabilities. On the other hand, many Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) in Arizona have closed their waitlists, as they have reached the maximum allotment of vouchers. Continue reading below to find out your chances of qualifying and what to expect from the program.
Discover Arizona Section 8 Requirements
The Arizona Section 8 requirements for eligibility indicate that three major factors will determine whether you qualify. They include:
- The annual gross income of your household.
- The number of people in your immediate family.
- Your citizenship status in the U.S.
Your annual gross income is the amount you expect to earn in a year before taxes are taken out of your paychecks. The combined income of all working family members in your home will be compared to the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and the median income of your area.
According to the rules of Section 8 qualifications, the gross income of your household must not exceed 50 percent of the median income in your town, county or area. If your income does not exceed 30 percent, you have an even higher chance of obtaining this type of housing assistance. That is because PHAs are required to give 75 percent of their vouchers to families who find themselves under these circumstances.
Even if your chances of meeting the Section 8 eligibility requirements in Arizona are high, you will not be guaranteed a voucher. Unfortunately, you may wait for years before being able to receive vouchers. You may also lose eligibility while you are waiting, particularly if you begin earning more money.
If you are worried about qualifying based on your gross income alone, remember that the program does allow for certain deductions. For instance, your PHA will not count the incomes of those who are younger than 18 years of age and hold a job. However, if a family member is 18 years of age or older, enrolled in school and employed, some of his or her income may be counted toward your total household income limits.
There are additional exceptions to the Section 8 income limits for other forms of income. As an example, payments that you receive for housing foster care children will not be counted. Moreover, payments that you receive for adoption assistance will not be counted.
Finally, your AZ Section 8 housing eligibility depends on your residency status within the state. Generally, you may only apply for housing assistance in Arizona if you reside in the state and can prove your U.S. citizenship or legal status in the country.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Arizona
Wondering how to submit a Section 8 application in Arizona? First, contact your local PHA. As housing vouchers are in high demand, you need to check that your local agency is still accepting applications. If your PHA cannot accept any new applicants, you may be able to apply for vouchers in a different county. To do so, you must follow the specific instructions detailed by your local agency.
You may be able to get in touch with your PHA by phone, via email or through an appointment. Walk-ins may also be welcome, but every office operates differently. Call in advance for office hours and the walk-in policy.
Before you apply for Section 8, make sure that your identification documents and employment documents are in order and readily available. This will simplify the process and make it easier to fill out any application forms. Be prepared to provide information on the following:
- The names, ages and occupation status of each of your family members
- Employment information on your family members who hold jobs
- The number of children, dependents and people with disabilities in your family
- Whether you receive foster care payments or adoption assistance
The method you may use to submit your Section 8 housing application may vary from agency to agency. For instance, PHAs may allow you to fill out certain portions online, while others will require you to fill out a hard copy of the application form in person.
The second half of the application process consists of an interview and a verification of your documents. During the interview, an agent may ask you to explain more about your circumstances. He or she may also ask you to clarify certain sections of the application. Finally, the agent will inform you of your rights and responsibilities during the process. Then, you will have an opportunity to ask questions of your own.
Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in Arizona
You will likely be placed on an AZ Section 8 waiting list if your PHA is currently accepting applications and you meet all the requirements. More often than not, it may take some time for you and your family to reach the top of the list.
Your Section 8 waiting list status will also constantly depend on your current employment and income. Notify your PHA as soon as possible if you obtain a new job, because your eligibility must be reevaluated at that time. Alternatively, if you ever become homeless, make sure to notify your PHA immediately. In such cases, you may be bumped up in priority.
If you reach the top of the waitlist, you will receive a notification from your PHA. Your eligibility will be checked once more, and you may need to undergo a final interview so that you fully understand the program and know how to use your vouchers.
Learn About Arizona Section 8 Housing Lists
The Section 8 housing list in Arizona is a list of subsidized homes in your county or area. Before you can begin receiving vouchers, you and your family must select a new home from this list. Moreover, your PHA may provide you with more information about homes that are readily available, so that you can choose one that is best for you and your family.