Section 8, also known as the housing choice voucher program, is a rental assistance program administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In general, this program is intended to provide low income housing solution for residents, families and seniors who would not otherwise be able to afford rent.
Despite the fact that Section 8 housing in Hawaii is part of a federally funded program, it is administered on a local level through public housing authorities (PHAs). With a HUD housing voucher, renters are only responsible for a portion of their rent, as PHAs will pay the remaining amount.
Due to the popularity of the program, Section 8 waiting lists tend to be long or closed to new applicants. Moreover, all residents on these waiting lists must meet strict income requirements in order to be eligible. To learn more about Section 8, read the sections below.
Discover Hawaii Section 8 Requirements
Section 8 eligibility in Hawaii is determined by local PHAs. Despite the fact that your eligibility will be primarily determined by your household’s gross annual income, certain PHAs may have additional requirements. For example, the County of Honolulu PHA will not issue housing vouchers to registered sex offenders.
In most cases, your income must fall within a certain percentage of the area’s median income, as listed by the HUD. However, different PHAs may establish varying percentages for income criteria. As a general rule, Section 8 income limits must fall between 30 and 50 percent of the area’s median income.
Because housing vouchers are designed for low-income families, the elderly and people with disabilities, you may need to prove additional Section 8 requirements. For instance, certain applicants may be required to provide proof of disability.
Additionally, PHAs may have local preferences for the areas that they serve. Local preferences serve as special Section 8 qualifications that may move a family up or down on a waiting list. As an example, certain PHAs may give preference to families who are homeless or living in substandard housing.
Finally, in order to be considered for a Section 8 housing voucher, you must either be a U.S. citizen or legal resident.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Hawaii
The Section 8 application process varies depending on the PHA, but generally takes place in two steps. First, residents must enter a waiting list for their local PHA. Then, once their name is selected from the list, they must go through a second application process.
When it comes to Section 8 waiting lists, applicants typically need to provide general information. This may include your name, the number of individuals in your household and the combined income of your household.
Moreover, you may apply for the section 8 housing waiting list online through a local PHA. However, it is important to make sure that the application for the waiting list is open. There may be certain times when the waiting list will not be open.
Simply being put on a waiting list does not guarantee that you will receive a voucher. If your name is pulled from the waiting list, you must complete a more in-depth Section 8 housing application. This may require providing proof of income and undergoing an interview at your local PHA. Then, you will you be approved or denied for a voucher.
Note: In order to apply for Section 8, you must provide the Social Security Number (SSN) of each member in your household or certify that certain members do not have one.
Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in Hawaii
As previously mentioned, being placed on the waiting list is the preliminary step to beginning the Section 8 application process. Overall, the Section 8 waiting list is used to determine whether or not a family is eligible for a voucher. However, a more thorough application will take place afterward.
It is important to note that Section 8 waiting lists can be very long and take a significant amount of time. Therefore, it may be months or even a year before a family is pulled from the waiting list and evaluated for a voucher.
Moreover, PHAs will often close waiting lists in order to better manage their length. Other times, waiting lists may only be open for short periods of the year. As such, you will have to check with your local housing authority to see when a waitlist may open. Moreover, you may want to apply for more than one PHA in order to increase your chances of being selected.
If you applied to be on a waitlist online, you may check your Section 8 waiting list status using your login information. This will allow you to see if your application was accepted, if it is still being processed, or whether it has been denied.
Learn About Hawaii Section 8 Housing Lists
Once you receive a Section 8 housing voucher, you must search for housing options that meet the requirements set by your local PHA. Moreover, you must find a landlord who is willing to receive payment through the housing voucher program.
Generally, a representative from the housing authority will verify that your choice of residence meets their basic health and safety standards and that the rent they are charging is fair based on the area and market value. On the other hand, you may simplify the process by selecting a home from a Section 8 housing list provided by the PHA.
Several PHAs partner with local housing providers to simplify the process of finding affordable housing. In general, these Section 8 listings are available online or in person.