Learn About Section 8 Requirements in Colorado
The Colorado Section 8 requirements are determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at the federal level. While the HUD provides funding, public housing agencies (PHAs) are in charge of administering vouchers and running the program at the local level. As a result, PHAs can set their own Section 8 eligibility criteria as well.
After you meet the Section 8 qualifications in CO and are approved for a voucher, you need to find a unit to rent that follows the program rules. Learn more about the Section 8 housing requirements and other eligibility information for this program in the sections below.
What are the Section 8 requirements in Colorado?
The basic Section 8 housing eligibility criteria relate to your income, citizenship and family status. This program is open to individuals as well as families. Note that family status is not affected by whether you are married or have children.
You can qualify based on your income alone if you are applying as a family. Otherwise, you will need to meet additional criteria to be eligible. In order to meet Section 8 eligibility as a single person, you must typically fall into one of the following categories:
- Be a senior.
- Have a disability.
- Be displaced from home.
Next, you need to meet the requirements for legal U.S. presence. Overall, Section 8 housing eligibility is limited to applicants who are U.S. citizens, nationals or legal residents. However, not all categories of legal aliens are eligible. In any case, note that at least one member of your household needs to meet the legal presence requirements in order to be qualified for this program.
You do not necessarily need to be a resident of Colorado in order to apply for Section 8 assistance in the state. If you wish, you can apply for help through any local PHA.
However, even if you meet the basic Section 8 requirements in CO, your chances of getting assistance are typically lower if you are not a resident of the area where file the application. That is because most PHAs will give preference to local applicants.
On top of the regular Section 8 eligibility criteria, PHAs can set their own additional rules. For example, some agencies will require you to pass a criminal background check, or for you to have an acceptable rental history.
Furthermore, landlords can set their own criteria that are separate from PHA requirements. Even if a PHA does not screen for criminal or rental history, a landlord still may require it.
What are the Colorado Section 8 income limits?
Meeting the Section 8 income guidelines is the next step in becoming eligible for rental assistance. As a general rule, these income requirements are determined by HUD.
Under this program, your income will be compared with the earnings of other families in the area. Because income can vary from one part of the state to the next, your earnings will usually only be compared with that of other families in your city or county.
In general, you will have Section 8 eligibility as long as you earn no more than 50 percent of the median family income where you live. PHAs are required to save most of their vouchers for families that earn no more than 30 percent of the median. This means that you are more likely to be approved for rental assistance if you have a lower income.
In some areas, you may meet the Colorado Section 8 qualifications if your income is below 80 percent of the median family income. However, you are less likely to receive assistance with an income at this level. Learn more about the Section 8 income limits by reading our detailed guide here.
Which documents do I need to meet Section 8 requirements in Colorado?
You will need to verify details such as your income, identity and Social Security Number (SSN) in order to prove that you meet the eligibility requirements related to applying for this program. Various documents can satisfy these requirements, such as:
- Social Security card
- Photo ID card
- Bank statements
- Pay stubs
- Benefit award letters from government programs
- Tax returns
If your PHA has its own Section 8 requirements, you may need to provide additional documentation. For example, you may be expected to provide evidence of your rental history or contact information from previous landlords. However, the exact documents you need will ultimately depend on your situation.
In any case, you should be prepared to show official or certified copies of your paperwork whenever possible. Moreover, you must be able to produce documents for each person in your household who is seeking assistance from the HUD.
Which Colorado Section 8 housing requirements do I have to meet?
Upon meeting the Colorado Section 8 qualifications and receiving a voucher, you need to find a suitable unit. However, be mindful that a rental unit must meet certain HUD and PHA requirements before you are allowed to proceed with a lease agreement or move in.
First and foremost, the unit you pick must be rented out by a landlord who is willing to accept Section 8 vouchers. Moreover, the apartment must be large enough to accommodate your family safely and comfortably.
Furthermore, the unit needs to meet certain health and safety standards established by the HUD. As an example, local PHAs will inspect the unit for safety considerations such as:
- Broken doors, windows or locks
- Damaged walls, ceilings or floors
- Evidence of pests and rodents
- Inadequate wiring, electrical outlets or lighting
If a particular unit does not comply with the proper Section 8 housing requirements, you will need to continue your search elsewhere.
What happens if I don’t meet the Section 8 qualifications?
If you do not meet the CO Section 8 income limits and other requirements, a PHA will send a letter denying your application. Overall, you have the right to appeal any decisions that you disagree with. Keep in mind that you can apply for help through any PHA, meaning that it may be possible to qualify through a different agency in your area.
Even if you do not meet Section 8 eligibility in Colorado, you may be able to qualify for other programs that help you afford rent or lower your living expenses. Local charities and other organizations may provide temporary or long-term assistance.
Moreover, you may find that you qualify for low-income tax credits or other government programs that help lower your expenses. If you are a senior, a veteran or have a disability, you may be eligible for additional types of assistance as well.