Your Section 8 eligibility in Arkansas is determined by the public housing agency (PHA) that receives your application. While PHAs receive federal funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), these organizations are responsible for administering the housing choice vouchers at the local level.
Many of the Section 8 requirements are the same in every state. For example, family status and citizenship requirements are the same no matter where you apply. However, PHAs can set their own Section 8 qualifications as well. Read below to learn more about the requirements you may need to meet when you apply for rental assistance.
What are the Section 8 requirements in Arkansas?
In order to meet Section 8 housing eligibility in Arkansas, you first need to meet the HUD’s definition of family. A family can be composed of a single person who:
- Is a senior.
- Has a disability.
- Has been displaced from home.
- Is the remaining member of a family that receives assistance.
You can also count as a family if your household is composed of two or more people. As a general rule, you are not required to have children or be married in order to meet family status.
For AR Section 8 qualifications purposes, at least one person in your household must be legally present in the U.S. Overall, this program is only open to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and certain categories of legally present aliens.
On the other hand, note that you do not need to be a resident of Arkansas to meet the Section 8 requirements in this state. However, PHAs tend to give preference to local applicants. With this in mind, it can improve your chances of getting a voucher if you reside in the service area of the PHA that you apply through.
Moreover, you will be required to meet local Section 8 qualifications as well. Each PHA can set its own requirements on top of the basic rules for citizenship, income and family status. For example, certain PHAs may run a criminal background check on applicants.
Keep in mind that you may need to have additional qualifications in order to live in certain rental properties. This is because landlords can set their own rules on top of those set forth by the PHA. Learn more about Section 8 requirements by reading our detailed guide here.
What are the Arkansas Section 8 income limits?
The Arkansas Section 8 income guidelines outline how much you can earn and still qualify for assistance from this program. Generally speaking, you must earn no more than 50 percent of the median family income in the area. In certain cases, you might be able to qualify if you earn up to 80 percent of the median income.
It is important to be aware that under the Section 8 income limits set by HUD, PHAs are required to save the majority of their vouchers for families that earn no more than 30 percent of the median income. This means that families with the lowest income are more likely to receive assistance first.
In any case, your income will be compared to the median earnings in your area, rather than the whole state of Arkansas. Depending on where you live, this might only include the city or county you live in.
Furthermore, income requirements are subject to change from one year to the next. If you do not currently meet the Section 8 income guidelines in Arkansas, you may find that you are able to qualify in the future.
Which documents do I need to meet Section 8 requirements in Arkansas?
A local PHA is required to verify that you meet the Section 8 housing eligibility requirements by assessing several different documents. The paperwork you need to present will vary depending on your circumstances. Nonetheless, you should be prepared to verify the following details:
- Age and date of birth
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- Income and employment, if applicable
- Any other individual factors, such as disability status
Documents you can use to prove your Section 8 eligibility may include birth certificates, photo identification cards, bank statements, tax returns and other similar paperwork. Whenever possible, you should present certified or original copies of all your documentation.
Which Arkansas Section 8 housing requirements do I have to meet?
Once you meet the Section 8 qualifications, apply for help and receive a voucher, it is your responsibility to find a unit to rent. Then, the home or apartment you choose needs to meet certain health and safety standards.
The HUD is responsible for determining the criteria that a home must meet before you can move in, while local PHAs are in charge of physically inspecting the unit you choose. During the inspection, the housing agency will look for issues such as:
- Broken doors, windows, locks or latches.
- Holes or other damage to the walls, ceilings or floors.
- Lack of outlets, proper wiring or light fixtures.
- Pest or rodent infestations.
A home may not meet the Section 8 housing requirements if any of these issues are present. Moreover, if your apartment passes the inspection, you will still need to ensure that it is rented out by a landlord who is willing to accept Section 8. Lastly, the unit you choose must be large enough for your family and be rented out at a fair rate.
What happens if I don’t meet the Section 8 qualifications?
If you find that you do not meet Section 8 eligibility in Arkansas, there are a variety of rental assistance programs available. In general, various local organizations and charities provide short-term or long-term housing assistance. Additionally, there may be special programs available if you are a senior or veteran.
Keep in mind that the Section 8 requirements in AR can vary from one organization to the next. Therefore, you may find that you can qualify for a housing choice voucher through a different PHA in your area.
You can apply for assistance through any housing authority of your choice. Nonetheless, remember that some PHAs will give priority to local applicants, which may affect your ability to get approved even if you meet the requirements.