The Arkansas Section 8 program strives to prevent homelessness and help working families, seniors and people with disabilities. Overall, residents may apply through a local Public Housing Agency (PHA). If eligible, they may rent a house, apartment or other approved form of housing through an authorized landlord. Then, the PHA will distribute housing vouchers directly to the landlord.
This low income housing program is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but every state has different levels of availability for vouchers. In Arkansas, 97,200 residents receive assistance. 71 percent of state recipients are seniors, children and people with disabilities. Furthermore, these vouchers support many different communities, including rural areas and small towns.
If you intend to apply for HUD housing and housing choice vouchers, it is important to understand the eligibility criteria and application process. In addition, not every PHA will have an open waiting list, because vouchers are typically in high demand. Learn more about the program and getting on a waitlist below.
Discover Arkansas Section 8 Requirements
As you read through the Arkansas Section 8 requirements, you should remember that there are three key factors influencing your eligibility. Keeping these in mind may help you understand the approval process and decide whether filling an application is worth your time. The main factors include:
- Your household’s total gross income.
- The number of people in your family.
- Your citizenship status and background check.
Your household’s gross income refers to the yearly income that you and each of your working family members earns in a year, combined. This does not factor in the amount you pay in taxes. As a general rule, your PHA will compare your household income to the number of people in your family.
In accordance with Section 8 qualifications, your household’s income must fall below 50 percent of the median income in your area. If it is above 50 percent, you may not qualify for housing vouchers. In any case, if you move outside of your PHA area, you must qualify based on the median income of the new area.
If your family’s income falls below 30 percent of the median income in your area, your application may be moved up in priority. That is because PHAs are required by certain housing laws to offer 75 percent of their vouchers to families that fall within this category. On the other hand, keep in mind that you may not be guaranteed vouchers.
The incomes of working family members who are 17 years of age or younger will not be counted toward the total household income. However, the income earned by family members who are 18 years of age or older, employed and enrolled in school may be partially counted.
Your PHA will also compare Section 8 income limits to the number of children, dependents and residents with disabilities in your family. It is important for agents to consider the types of living expenses that are preventing you and your family from saving more of the money you earn.
Finally, your AR Section 8 housing eligibility depends on the citizenship status of each of your family members, because only U.S. citizens and legal residents may apply for the program. As such, you must be able to prove your citizenship or legal status with a government-issued document, such as a birth certificate or a visa. In addition, you must be a resident of Arkansas to apply for assistance in the state.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Arkansas
If you decide that you want to submit a Section 8 application in Arkansas, getting in touch with a local PHA is your first step. However, it is important to note that different agencies may have varying application methods. For instance, one agency may accept mailed-in applications, while another PHA may request you to apply in person. Generally, online applications are not accepted.
In any case, be mindful that certain agencies will not accept new applicants due to a significantly high demand. This may be a good reason to call or email your local PHA in advance.
When you apply for Section 8 in Arkansas, you will be asked a variety of personal questions about your family, income, personal history and more. For example, you must provide:
- The names and ages of the family members who will live in the home.
- Your current address and phone number.
- Information on family characteristics, such as the veteran status or disability status of a family member.
- Contact information for your current landlord and previous landlords.
- Employer information for each family member that holds a job.
After you complete the Section 8 application form, you may be called in for an interview. An interview allows the PHA to verify certain documents or information submitted through the application. Moreover, it gives you the chance to ask questions about your rights and responsibilities.
Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in Arkansas
A Section 8 waiting list in Arkansas is a list of eligible applicants who have not yet received their housing choice vouchers. While some high-priority families may have a short waiting time, other families may have to wait a long time to reach the top of the list. Fortunately, many waitlists in Arkansas are still open and accepting new applicants.
If you want to check your Section 8 waiting list status, simply contact your local PHA. However, keep in mind that your eligibility may change while you are on the list, particularly if you obtain employment and/or begin earning a higher salary.
Learn About Arkansas Section 8 Housing Lists
If you reach the top of the waitlist, you may begin browsing the Section 8 housing list for your area. This housing list, which is provided by your local PHA, contains available and approved Section 8 homes. While the selection process may vary depending on each PHA, you will have a certain amount of freedom when choosing your new home.