The Section 8 program in Louisiana is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at the federal level. The purpose of this program is to provide low income housing to individuals and families who are not able to afford what is currently on the market. Although the program is funded by the HUD, it is administered by the state government and its local agencies in Louisiana.
Also known as the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, it is the responsibility of local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to provide housing to qualifying candidates in Louisiana. Therefore, this HUD housing program has three main criteria that applicants must meet before being eligible to receive these vouchers. To learn more about public housing subsidies that may be available to you, continue reading the following sections.
Discover Louisiana Section 8 Requirements
As stated before, there are three main Section 8 requirements in Louisiana that prospective tenants must meet in order to qualify for this program. These three main criteria include meeting the income limits, qualifying under the U.S. citizenship or residency status and passing a background check. Furthermore, there may be specific requirements established by local PHAs.
First and foremost, be mindful that your income must fall within a specific range in order to meet Section 8 qualifications. As such, your combined annual household income must typically fall below 50 percent of the average salary within your county of residence.
As an example, if the average annual income of the county is $50,000, then your household income must usually fall below $25,000 in order for you to qualify. Furthermore, it is important to note that PHAs must give 75 percent of funds to applicants whose income falls below 30 percent of the average county salary.
The other category that applicants must meet pertains to one’s citizenship status in the U.S. According to the Section 8 housing eligibility in Louisiana, the applicant must submit the completed application in the county the household is currently living in, and must prove that he or she is a U.S. citizen or legal resident.
The last category is for all household members to pass a background check. The PHAs require all adult members of the household to undergo a background check that evaluates credit history, rental history and criminal history.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Louisiana
When filing a Section 8 application, you will be asked to provide certain details and submit acceptable proof of this information to your local PHA. You must gather this information for both yourself and the rest of your household members. To complete the application, you must provide proof of income, U.S. citizenship/residency and background history. Some examples of acceptable forms of verification documents are:
- Tax returns.
- Pay stubs.
- Voter registration card.
- Valid entry visa.
These documents can be used to verify your income and citizenship status. There are a variety of ways that you can start to apply for Section 8 in Louisiana. For instance, you may go to the PHA in your area to obtain a physical application form. The application has three pages:
- The cover sheet.
- The pre-interview application.
- The actual application form.
After you apply, you must wait about two weeks for an application status update. During this time, you can check the status of their application online or by calling the PHA where you submitted the application.
Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in Louisiana
After you qualify for housing assistance, you will likely be placed on a Section 8 waiting list. As an eligible applicant, you will remain on a waitlist until your PHA contacts you with news of available housing. However, keep in mind that waitlists and housing availability will vary from county to county. More often than not, the waiting period is quite long, so remaining on the list for a long period of time is common.
Furthermore, be mindful that PHAs within the county may close when these waiting lists become too long. As such, you will have to check the Section 8 housing waitlist status often since the names will change every week.
Learn About Louisiana Section 8 Housing Lists
When the time comes that you are selected from a waiting list to start receiving benefits, you may use a Section 8 housing list to locate a property that already meets the HUD requirements and that has a landlord that takes vouchers as a form of acceptable payment. Generally, these Section 8 housing listings can be found online or in person at local PHAs.
In any case, be mindful that you are not required to find a home through a housing list. Instead, you can independently find a landlord that accepts HUD housing vouchers instead, as long as the landlord and his or her property comply with the sanitary and safety requirements established by the program.