Most of the Section 8 requirements in Louisiana are outlined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which provides federal funding for this program. However, local public housing agencies (PHAs) are responsible for running this program at the state level. As such, when you file for assistance, your Section 8 eligibility will ultimately be determined by the PHA that processes your application.
The exact Section 8 qualifications can vary depending on where you sign up. For example, the income limits for this program are different throughout Louisiana. To learn more about Section 8 housing eligibility in Louisiana and discover what qualifications you may need to meet before you can apply, read the sections below.
What are the Section 8 requirements in Louisiana?
The basic Louisiana Section 8 qualifications relate to your legal presence in the U.S., family composition and income level. Generally, you can apply for this program if you are a single person or a family.
Families, which are made up of two or more people, can qualify based on income alone. If you are single, you will typically need to fall into one of the following categories in order to meet “family” status:
- Have a disability.
- Be a senior.
- Be displaced from home.
Note that your Section 8 eligibility is generally not affected by your family size or composition. For example, you do not necessarily need to have children or be married to be eligible as a family.
Next, in order to meet the Section 8 qualifications in Louisiana, at least one person in your family must meet the legal presence requirements. Participation in this program is limited to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and certain categories of legally-present aliens. Not all non-citizens will qualify.
On top of the family status and legal presence requirements, you may need to meet additional rules laid forth by a PHA or landlord. Housing authorities oftentimes have their own Section 8 eligibility criteria, such as making applicants pass a criminal background check. It is also common for PHAs to restrict applicants who are on a lifetime sex offender registry.
If you meet the HUD and PHA Section 8 requirements, keep in mind that landlords may have their own rules as well. For example, landlords may look at your rental history to determine if you are eligible to lease a unit. Learn more about your Section 8 housing eligibility by reading our detailed guide here.
What are the Louisiana Section 8 income limits?
The Section 8 income guidelines in Louisiana can vary depending on where you live in the state. This is because some areas have a higher average income than others. When determining if you meet the Section 8 income limits, a PHA will compare your earnings with the median family income in your city, county or another local area.
Under the Section 8 income guidelines, you must make no more than 50 percent of the median income for the area. In some cases, you can qualify with an income that is up to 80 percent of the median, but this is far less common.
By law, PHAs are required to save the vast majority of their vouchers for families that earn no more than 30 percent of the median income. This increases an extremely low-income family’s chances of being approved for rental assistance.
If you do not meet the income requirements in your area but still need rental help, you may consider applying for assistance through a different PHA. Because income levels vary, it is possible that you will meet the Louisiana Section 8 qualifications in another part of the state. Additionally, keep in mind that income levels can change on an annual basis.
Which documents do I need to meet Section 8 requirements in Louisiana?
The local PHA that processes your application will verify whether you meet the Louisiana Section 8 requirements by requesting certain documentation. Housing authorities may also contact banks, employers and other organizations directly to check your eligibility.
You can prove your Section 8 qualifications by showing a variety of paperwork. The exact documents you need will depend on your circumstances, but may include the following:
- Birth certificate
- Photo ID
- Income records
- Bank statements
- Proof of Social Security Number (SSN)
You might need to provide multiple types of documents in order to verify your information. As such, be prepared to show paperwork for each person in your household who wants to receive rental assistance. It is important to note that you may not qualify for Section 8 if you fail to provide the proper documents for each eligible person in your family.
Which Louisiana Section 8 housing requirements do I have to meet?
Upon proving your Section 8 eligibility in Louisiana and receiving a voucher, you will need to find a suitable place to rent. Under the LA Section 8 housing requirements, the unit you choose must be in safe, sanitary and decent condition. This means that the home or apartment must be free from issues that include:
- Pest and rodent infestations
- Broken or inoperable doors, windows and locks
- Structural damage to the walls, ceilings or floors
- Inadequate lighting, electrical outlets or plumbing
The PHA will inspect the rental unit of your choice to make sure that it meets these requirements. The apartment will also need to be inspected on an annual basis for the PHA to ensure that it still complies with the HUD requirements.
On top of these requirements, you also need to ensure that the apartment you choose is rented out by a landlord who is willing to take Section 8 vouchers. Overall, not all property owners are willing to work with the program.
What happens if I don’t meet the Section 8 qualifications?
If you do not meet the Section 8 requirements in Louisiana, the PHA will notify you that your application has been denied. In turn, you have the right to ask for an appeal and have a fair hearing.
There are a variety of other housing programs available that you may qualify for instead. For example, the HUD has special programs for veterans. Furthermore, the Louisiana Housing Corporation provides services such as permanent supportive housing for individuals who are homeless or living with chronic health issues.
Many community organizations and charities provide rental assistance as well. Additional opportunities often exist if you are a senior, have a disability or have been displaced from home.