Section 8 is a rental subsidy program overseen on the federal level by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Also known as the housing choice voucher program, it is designed to help low-income families, including seniors and individuals with disabilities, to find homes that they can afford to rent.
Despite the fact that this is a federal HUD housing program, Section 8 in Kansas is managed and administered on a local level by Public Housing Agencies (PHAs). Through this program, PHAs pay a portion of a family’s monthly rent expenses directly to their landlords. Thus, these families are only responsible for a portion of their rent.
Moreover, a significant part of the HUD guidelines is to ensure that every low income housing option granted through this program is safe and sanitary. Thus, the HUD inspects rental units to verify that they comply with the HUD’s health and safety standards.
In order to receive a Section 8 housing voucher, you must meet specific eligibility requirements and go through the application process with a local PHA. Read on to learn what these requirements are, as well as how to apply.
Discover Kansas Section 8 Requirements
The eligibility of an applicant will depend on whether he or she meet the pre-determined Section 8 income limits. These limits are determined by an area’s median income as identified by the HUD, and also coordinated according to the size of a family.
Generally, in order to meet Section 8 requirements, a family may not make more than 50 percent of the area’s median income. However, most of the vouchers that a PHA issues must go to applicants who make less than 30 percent of the median income.
In order to fully meet the proper Section 8 qualifications in Kansas, applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents. Moreover, all applicants will be required to undergo a background check, ensuring that they are not registered sex offenders.
Students who do not live with their parents may be eligible for vouchers. However, they will have to meet extra requirements in order to qualify. To obtain Section 8 eligibility as a student, the student must meet one of the following criteria:
- Be at least 24 years of age or defined as an independent student
- Be a veteran
- Be married or has dependents
- Be a graduate student
Aside from Section 8 eligibility requirements, applicants must keep in mind that certain PHAs may have local priorities. These priorities will not impact an applicant’s overall eligibility, but may cause certain residents to receive assistance more quickly than others. For example, some PHAs give preference to families who are homeless so that they can find housing as soon as it becomes available.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Kansas
Each PHA may vary slightly in its application process for Section 8 in Kansas. However, in general, applying for these benefits includes two steps:
- Applying for the waiting list
- Verifying eligibility through an interview process
Before attempting to apply for a waiting list, you must find a PHA that is currently accepting Section 8 applications. That is because many PHAs close their waiting lists for long periods of time (see the following section for more information).
Once you find a PHA that is accepting applications, you will be required to provide:
- Information about your household’s income and size.
- Social Security Numbers (SSNs) for each member of the household.
- Personal identification information.
You may have to provide all of this information when you apply for the Section 8 housing waiting list. However, certain PHAs offer a shorter pre-application that asks for less information before placing applicants on a waiting list.
After you are pulled from a waiting list, your eligibility will be verified through an interview with a representative from the PHA. During this interview, you may need to provide proof of income even if you already did so before.
Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in Kansas
The Section 8 waiting list is an integral part of the application process, making it important to understand how these lists work. Because the need for assistance in an area often outweighs the resources available to the PHA, agencies typically develop a waiting list for those next in line to receive assistance.
However, the number of applications is often so great that certain PHAs choose to close their waiting lists to avoid having them get too full. Once applicants are on the waiting list, it may take months or even years until their case is selected.
For that reason, if the PHA nearest to you is not accepting applications, you may consider also applying through another PHA. However, keep in mind that you must reside in the PHA’s area for a period of time after receiving a voucher.
If you are able to get on a list, you can typically check your Section 8 waiting list status with your PHA either online or by phone.
Learn About Kansas Section 8 Housing Lists
A Section 8 housing list can provide you with available rental units in your area after you become eligible to start receiving HUD housing vouchers. PHAs often have these listings online or in person. In any case, all of these Section 8 listings have landlords that are already familiar with the program and willing to accept vouchers as payment.
You may also search for a rental unit outside of the approved Section 8 housing list. Just keep in mind that your PHA will have to approve the rental unit according to the HUD’s health and safety standards. Moreover, the landlord must agree to receive payment through the Section 8 program.