Section 8 is a rental assistance program designed to be a low income housing solution for families, the elderly and people with disabilities. The program is outlined on the national level through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but is administered in each state through local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs).
Also known as the housing voucher program, the beneficiaries of Section 8 in Idaho are able to afford suitable housing by only paying a part of their rental expenses. With HUD housing, local PHAs pay landlords directly on behalf of the renters, and renters are responsible for the remaining portion.
In order to qualify for Section 8 housing in Idaho, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements. However, the demand for the program often outweighs the available resources. Therefore, eligible residents must first be placed on a PHA waiting list in order to receive any type of assistance. Read on to learn more about the eligibility requirements and application process for Section 8 housing.
Discover Idaho Section 8 Requirements
Income is the most important factor among the Section 8 requirements in Idaho. Overall, Section 8 income limits are based on the median income for the area where the PHA is located, but may vary based on the size of each family that applies for this type of assistance.
In general, a family’s income must be between 30 and 50 percent of the area’s median income. However, keep in mind that local PHAs may have higher or lower requirements. For example, the Boise City/Ada County delegates 25 percent of its housing vouchers to families that have incomes that reach up to 80 percent of the area’s median income.
Furthermore, residents must be able to prove their U.S. citizenship or legal status in order to meet Section 8 eligibility. As an example, proof of citizenship with a Social Security Number (SSN) will be required during the enrollment process.
Certain PHAs may determine specific Section 8 qualifications for families that will be given priority. For instance, homeless families may receive preference and move up on a waiting list.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Idaho
The Idaho Section 8 application process may vary slightly depending on the PHA. However, there are generally two steps to the application process:
- Being placed on a waitlist
- Confirmation of eligibility after being selected from a waitlist
The initial step is more of a pre-application that places eligible residents on a PHA waiting list. You may complete this part of the Section 8 application online. For the pre-application process, you will be asked to provide:
- Information about the size of your household.
- The household’s total income and assets.
- SSNs for each member of the household.
You are not guaranteed to receive a housing voucher after you apply for the Section 8 waiting list. In certain cases, you may not even be placed on the waiting list just for applying (which is explained in the next section). However, if you do make it onto the waiting list, you must wait for your name to be pulled from it and then undergo an application interview.
During the interview, you will meet with a PHA representative who will verify your eligibility. As such, be prepared to provide:
- Documentation of your income and assets.
- Proof of citizenship.
- Signatures of each household member who is older than 18 years of age, verifying that all the provided information is accurate.
- Other documents for verification purposes, such as proof of disability (if applicable).
After you complete the interview portion of the Section 8 housing application process and the PHA finalizes your paperwork, you will be notified about their decision to approve or deny you. Then, you can begin the process of using your housing voucher.
Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in Idaho
It is important to note that the demand for housing vouchers typically outweighs the available resources of each PHA. Therefore, the Section 8 waiting list may be closed for extended periods of time when the list gets too long.
Before you start the application process, make sure to check whether your local PHA has an open waitlist. Moreover, you may want to consider applying to more than one PHA to increase your chances of being pulled from a waiting list.
It is important to note that, for certain PHAs, qualifying for benefits will not guarantee that you are placed on a waiting list. Sometimes, the number of applications comes in such high volumes that PHAs have to resort to a lottery system to determine who gets placed on the Section 8 waiting list.
Learn About Idaho Section 8 Housing Lists
Once you are approved for your housing choice voucher, you are responsible for finding a suitable home for your family. As a general rule, your local PHA will approve your housing choice based on the safety standards established by the HUD. Moreover, you will have to inform your potential landlord that you are part of the Section 8 housing program.
To assist you during this process, you may ask your PHA for a Section 8 housing list. This consists of a database of low income apartments for rent, often with complexes that the PHA has worked with before. This may be available in person at your PHA’s office or online.
However, it is important to note that you are not required to reside in an apartment included on this list. Instead, your local PHA will simply have to approve your housing choice prior to your move-in date.