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Learn About Section 8 Requirements in Minnesota

Many of the Section 8 qualifications in Minnesota are determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which funds this program. Public housing agencies (PHAs) are responsible for administering this program at the local level. Because housing authorities are independent organizations, the exact Section 8 requirements can vary depending on where you apply for assistance.

In many cases, your MN Section 8 eligibility will be checked before you can get onto a waiting list for a housing choice voucher. You will usually need to certify your eligibility again once a voucher becomes available for your family. Read below to learn more about meeting the Section 8 qualifications and discover whether your family may be eligible.

What are the Section 8 requirements in Minnesota?

Your Section 8 housing eligibility is based on a number of factors, such as your citizenship, family status and income. This program is only open to applicants who meet HUD’s definition of “family.” You can generally qualify as a family if there are two or more people in your home. Your family status is not affected by factors such as marriage, children, gender or sexual orientation.

A single person can also meet HUD’s definition of family. In order to meet the Section 8 requirements as a single person, an applicant may need to:

  • Be a senior.
  • Have a disability.
  • Have been involuntarily displaced from home.

After meeting the family status requirements, you also need to ensure that at least one person in your family is in the U.S. legally. Section 8 eligibility in MN is limited to applicants who are U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or legal immigrants. Note that not all categories of immigrants will qualify for this program.

A PHA will oftentimes have its own Section 8 requirements on top of the basic rules laid out by HUD. For example, some PHAs will require you to pass a background check or submit references from previous landlords. Therefore, factors such as your rental history or a criminal history might affect your ability to receive assistance from certain PHAs.

Keep in mind that landlords who accept vouchers also reserve the right to set their own rules. This means that even if you meet the Section 8 qualifications and receive a voucher, you may still need to pass an additional screening before you can rent a particular unit. Learn more about your Section 8 housing by reading our comprehensive guide here.

What are the Minnesota Section 8 income limits?

The Section 8 income guidelines are set by HUD and are usually updated each year. For this program, your income is compared with the median family income for your local area. In most cases, this only includes your county, city or another small region of the state. This is because income levels can vary from one part of Minnesota to the next.

In any case, the Section 8 income limits in MN require that you earn no more than 50 percent of the median family income. However, most PHAs give preference to applicants who earn less than 30 percent of the median. This is because housing authorities strive to help families with the lowest income first.

If you do not meet the income requirements in one area, keep in mind that you can apply for help through a different PHA. It is possible that you will meet the Section 8 qualifications in another part of the state instead.

Which documents do I need to meet Section 8 requirements in Minnesota?

You will need to verify your Section 8 housing eligibility before you can receive a voucher. Depending on the policies of your housing authority, you may need to prove your eligibility before you can undergo the application steps and be placed on a waiting list.

In many cases, you do not need to provide any documentation until a voucher is available and the PHA needs to fully check your eligibility. The types of documents you need will vary depending on your situation and the PHA’s requirements. You may need to have any of the following:

  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security card
  • Income verification
  • Immigration documents
  • Photo identification
  • Tax records

You must provide documentation for each person in your household who wants to receive assistance. Keep in mind that the PHA will verify every source of income, including wages from employment and benefits you may receive from other government programs.

Which Minnesota Section 8 housing requirements do I have to meet?

It is your responsibility to find a rental that meets the Section 8 housing requirements after you are chosen for a voucher. In general, you may pick any available unit on the open rental market. You may also find that your current home will meet the program requirements if you do not wish to move.

The unit you choose will need to be rented by a landlord who is willing to participate in the Section 8 program. Keep in mind that not all landlords will take vouchers. Additionally, your PHA will need to inspect the unit to ensure that it is:

  • Large enough to accommodate your family.
  • Free from damage as well as health and safety issues.
  • Rented at a fair rate compared to similar units.

Note that every unit will need to pass an inspection. This is true regardless of whether you stay in your current housing or move somewhere new. If you choose to continue using your assistance in the same unit each year, keep in mind that the PHA will check that it still meets the Section 8 requirements by doing an annual inspection.

What happens if I don’t meet the Section 8 qualifications?

If you do not meet the MN Section 8 income limits or other requirements, the PHA will notify you in writing. You will also receive information on appealing the decision if you disagree. Depending on the reason for your denial, you may be eligible for assistance through a different PHA.

The Section 8 requirements may be different than those for other rental assistance programs. If you cannot receive a voucher through this program, you may consider looking for help through a local charity or housing organization that offers similar types of assistance.