Learn About Section 8 Requirements in Arizona
The Arizona Section 8 requirements are determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well as local public housing agencies (PHAs) throughout the state. While the HUD provides federal funding and oversight for this program, local PHAs fulfill applications and administer housing choice vouchers. The Section 8 eligibility criteria may vary depending on where you apply due to the fact that multiple PHAs serve the state.
In addition to meeting the Section 8 qualifications yourself, you also need to find a home to rent that meets the PHA’s requirements for health and safety. Read below to learn more about the Section 8 housing requirements and the other criteria that you need to meet.
What are the Section 8 requirements in Arizona?
In general, your Section 8 eligibility in AZ is based on your income, family status and legal presence in the U.S. To start, at least one person in your household must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or legal non-citizen. Only certain categories of non-citizens are considered eligible.
Regardless of your citizenship, you do not need to be a resident of Arizona to apply for rental assistance in the state. As such, you may undergo the application process through any local PHA.
On the other hand, be mindful that certain housing agencies will give preference to local applicants. This means your chances of being approved for a voucher will usually be higher if you already live or work in the PHA’s service area.
Next, your Section 8 eligibility is based on income and family status. You can meet Section 8 housing eligibility based on your income alone in some cases if you are applying as a family.
Other times, you need to fall into certain categories in order to be eligible. In most cases, if you are applying as a single person, you need to:
- Be a senior.
- Have a disability.
- Be displaced from home.
Note that families can also be categorized as elderly, disabled or displaced if certain criteria are met. Being in one of these categories might mean that an applicant is able to receive assistance more quickly.
PHAs can also set their own Section 8 eligibility criteria, so it is important to check for any local requirements when you apply. For example, a housing authority may or may not perform a criminal background check on adult applicants. Learn more about the requirements for this program by reading our Section 8 guide here.
What are the Arizona Section 8 income limits?
Under the Section 8 income guidelines, you do not need to meet the state-wide income requirement. Instead, you must compare your earnings to the median family income in the area.
This is because income levels can vary from one community to the next. Depending on where you live, the local area may be your city or county.
Generally speaking, the Section 8 income limits in AZ require that you earn no more than 50 percent of the median family income. PHAs are required by law to save 75 percent of their vouchers for families with an extremely low income. This category includes families that earn no more than 30 percent of the median area income.
In some cases, you can qualify with a higher income if the PHA has vouchers available. However, your chances of receiving a voucher are higher if you have a lower income. This is because housing authorities strive to serve families with the greatest financial need first.
Keep in mind that the Section 8 income limits are subject to change from one year to the next. If you do not currently meet the Section 8 qualifications based on your income, you may consider checking at a later date.
Which documents do I need to meet Section 8 requirements in Arizona?
The PHA will need to verify that you meet the Section 8 requirements by looking at several different documents. The types of information you need may vary depending on your situation. In any case, you will usually need paperwork that verifies information such as:
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- Income and resources
- Individual circumstances, such as having a disability
Birth certificates, tax returns, bank statements, Social Security cards and other similar paperwork may be used to verify this information. When possible, you should try to provide original or certified copies of your documents.
Which Arizona Section 8 housing requirements do I have to meet?
Once you prove that you meet the Section 8 requirements and receive a voucher, you are responsible for finding a suitable place to rent. Under this program, you are allowed to rent from any landlord who is willing to accept Section 8 vouchers. Acceptable housing units may include:
- Single-family homes
- Mobile homes
- Units in multi-family apartment complexes
The home you choose will need to meet a few criteria before you can sign a lease. First, the unit must be in acceptable condition and pass health and safety checks. Second, the home needs to be large enough or have enough bedrooms for a family of your size. And third, the unit needs to be rented at a rate that falls within HUD’s fair market rent standards.
The PHA may or may not provide guidance in choosing a place to rent. Finding a rental that meets the Section 8 housing requirements is ultimately your responsibility, as most PHAs do not have the resources to assist families in their search for an apartment.
What happens if I don’t meet the Section 8 qualifications?
If you cannot meet the Section 8 qualifications in Arizona, there are several other options to try. First, you may consider applying through a different PHA in your area. Remember that each housing authority may have its own specific eligibility criteria.
Second, there are a variety of other government programs that offer rental assistance. For example, you may be able to qualify for Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) if you meet certain criteria. Finally, some communities and local charity groups have other forms of temporary or permanent rental assistance that you may qualify for.