The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) oversees the housing choice voucher program, which is designed to help low-income residents afford rent across the country. Commonly referred to as Section 8, the program generally focuses on helping low-income families, the elderly and people with disabilities.
Despite the fact that the HUD releases guidelines and instructions regarding this program, Section 8 in Indiana is overseen by local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs). Through the use of vouchers, these PHAs pay for a portion of the rent from these beneficiaries, who, in turn, are only responsible for the remaining amount.
To ensure that beneficiaries find safe and sanitary low income housing in Indiana, PHAs must approve the rental unit before beneficiaries may move in. Read on to learn more about the HUD housing program in the state.
Discover Indiana Section 8 Requirements
As a general rule, Section 8 eligibility is based primarily on income. As such, applicants who wish to receive assistance must meet Section 8 income limits, which are determined by an area’s median income level.
More often than not, beneficiaries have earnings that fall below 50 percent of the median income level in order to qualify for these HUD housing vouchers. Moreover, it is important to note that most vouchers are allocated to applicants who earn 30 percent or less of the median income in their region.
Other Section 8 requirements include citizenship criteria, as applicants must be U.S. citizens or have an acceptable immigration status in order to apply. In addition, residents must provide each household member’s Social Security Number (SSN).
Students who do not live with their parents must meet specific eligibility requirements in order to obtain a housing voucher. Moreover, a student must meet one of the following requirements:
- Be at least 24 years of age or defined as an independent student.
- Be a veteran.
- Be married or the parent of a dependent.
- Have a disability.
- Be a graduate student.
In addition to Section 8 qualifications in Indiana, applicants should be aware of the priorities defined by most PHAs. These local preferences are factors that may cause a PHA to give assistance to a family sooner than others.
For example, a PHA may have a local preference for families that are homeless over families who already have some form of housing. However, whether or not local priorities will impact your place on a waiting list will depend on the PHA you apply to.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Indiana
The Indiana Section 8 housing application process is handled directly by the PHA where you are applying. Despite the fact that you may receive assistance immediately if the resources are available, it is more likely that you will have to wait to be pulled from a local waitlist. For that reason, the application process typically takes place in two steps:
- Applying for the waiting list
- Verifying eligibility after your name is pulled from the list
In order to apply for the Section 8 waiting list, you must find a PHA that is currently accepting applications. PHAs will often close their applications when waiting lists become too long (for more information, see the next section).
A PHA can typically provide specific information regarding how to file a Section 8 application. However, be mindful that you must provide:
- Information about your household, including its size and income.
- Social Security Numbers (SSNs) for each member of the household.
- Personal information, such as your address.
Certain PHAs only require a shorter pre-application, rather than the full Section 8 application, in order for you to be placed on their waiting lists.
After your application is pulled from the waiting list, your information will be verified by the PHA. This typically takes place during an interview where a representative will review your information and explain the program’s requirements.
If a Section 8 interview is scheduled with you, be prepared to bring proof of income, even if you already provided it to apply for the waiting list. Moreover, you may need to file additional paperwork that was not completed during the original application.
Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in Indiana
The Section 8 waiting list is an important part of the application process. Therefore, it is important to understand how these waitlists work and how they may impact you.
Because the need for assistance often outweighs the available resources in a given area, PHAs often close their waiting lists due to being too long. Therefore, you must look for a PHA that is accepting new applicants in order to apply for the program at all.
If the PHA nearest to you is not accepting applications, you may consider applying through a PHA of a nearby area. Keep in mind, however, that you must live in the area where the PHA is located for a period of time after accepting a voucher issued by that agency. Thus, you may not want to apply at a PHA that is too far away from where you currently reside.
Keep in mind that Section 8 waiting lists are often very long. In some cases, you may have to wait months or years before your name is pulled from the list. For that reason, you may want to consider applying to more than one PHA.
After applying, be sure to ask your PHA how to check your Section 8 waiting list status, which can usually be done online. This will give you a better idea of where you are on the list and how long it may take for your case to be selected.
Learn About Indiana Section 8 Housing Lists
After you receive approval for Section 8, you must find a rental unit that meets the HUD’s health and safety requirements. You may be able to ease this process by using an IN Section 8 housing list.
These listings are compilations of affordable housing and low income apartments for rent. Generally, these lists can be found online through a PHA. Finding housing from one of these approved lists may be helpful because they are often owned by landlords that the PHA has worked with before.
Furthermore, you may find available rental units through other search engines or on a newspaper. In any case, keep in mind that a landlord must agree to receive payment through the program.