The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) oversees Section 8 in Kentucky and other states. Also known as the housing choice voucher program, this type of assistance is designed to help low-income individuals and families, including the elderly and residents with disabilities, afford clean and safe housing.
Despite the fact that this HUD housing program is a federally funded, assistance is administered on a local level through Public Housing Agencies (PHAs). Through the Section 8 housing program, PHAs pay landlords a portion of a beneficiary’s monthly rent expenses directly. Then, the family is only responsible for the remaining portion of the rent. Moreover, PHAs ensure that low income housing units are suitable for residents by inspecting them and verifying that they comply with the HUD’s health and safety standards.
You can obtain the benefits of Section 8 housing in Kentucky by applying through a local PHA. However, to do so, it is important to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements for the program. Read on to learn what these requirements are and how to begin the application process.
Discover Kentucky Section 8 Requirements
Section 8 eligibility is primarily determined by a household’s income. Applicants who do not meet the Section 8 income limits will not qualify to receive this type of assistance. Overall, these limits are determined by an area’s median income per family size, as defined by the HUD.
In order for an applicant to qualify, his or her household cannot typically make more than 50 percent of his or her area’s median income. Moreover, be mindful that PHAs are required by law to give most of their HUD housing vouchers to applicants who make less than 30 percent of the area’s median income.
Additionally, Section 8 requirements include U.S. citizenship or legal residency criteria. As such, all applicants must submit proof of citizenship or status. Moreover, applicants with a criminal history, particularly those who are registered sex offenders, will not be considered eligible for assistance.
Students who do not live with their parents may be eligible for vouchers on their own, but must meet specific Section 8 requirements. For instance, in order to be eligible for assistance as a student, he or she must be:
- At least 24 years of age or defined as an independent student.
- A veteran.
- Married or responsible for dependents.
- A graduate student.
In addition to eligibility requirements, applicants should keep in mind that certain PHAs may have established local priorities for who can receive assistance first. For example, some PHAs will move families who are homeless higher on the waiting list than families who have some form of housing. However, local preferences do not impact an applicant’s overall eligibility.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Kentucky
The Section 8 housing application process takes place in two steps. In order to apply for Section 8 in Kentucky, you must:
- Apply for the waiting list.
- Complete an interview to verify your eligibility.
Before attempting to apply for the waiting list, you must find a PHA that will accept your Section 8 application. That is because many PHAs close their waiting lists for the majority of the year (read more on the next section).
Once you find a PHA where you can apply for Section 8, you may be able to do so online or in person. Typically, the Section 8 housing application requires:
- Information about your household’s income and size.
- Social Security Numbers (SSNs) for each member of the household.
- A background check.
- Personal identification information.
After your name is pulled from the waiting list, you must attend an interview with a PHA representative. During the interview, you will verify the information that you provided and receive more details regarding the program. Be prepared to bring proof of income even if you already provided it during the first step of the application process.
Once your information is verified, you will be able to use your Section 8 housing vouchers.
Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in Kentucky
Understanding the Section 8 waiting list in Kentucky is integral to applying for assistance. Because the need for rental assistance often outweighs the number of vouchers a PHA has to distribute, PHAs typically have waiting lists for residents to wait for resources to become available. Moreover, certain agencies close these waitlists when they become too long.
When submitting your application, you must find a PHA with an open Section 8 waiting list. If the PHA nearest to you is not accepting new applicants, you may consider filing with another PHA. However, keep in mind that you must reside in that PHA’s area for a period of time if you receive a voucher from them.
If you make it onto a waiting list, it may be months or years before your name is pulled from it. Thus, you may want to apply to multiple PHAs in order to increase your chances of receiving assistance. In any case, you have the option of checking your Section 8 waiting list status during that process.
Learn About Kentucky Section 8 Housing Lists
Once you start receiving these vouchers, you may search for housing using an approved Section 8 housing list. These lists are provided by local PHAs and can often be found online.
Typically, Section 8 listings show properties that already meet the HUD standards and that are owned by landlords that will work with residents who are enrolled in the program. However, you may also look for rental units outside of the Section 8 housing list, using newspapers or online search engine.
In any case, keep in mind that the PHA must approve your choice of housing and landlord before you can move into a particular rental unit.