The Section 8 requirements in Mississippi can vary depending on where you apply for assistance. Some Section 8 qualifications are determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which provides funding and oversight for this program at the federal level. Other requirements can be set by public housing agencies (PHAs), which administer the program at the local level.
You will need to verify your Section 8 eligibility at least once during the application process. Certain PHAs require that you prove you are qualified before you can be added to a waiting list. Other organizations only require a full eligibility screening once you are selected for a voucher. Learn everything you need to know about your Section 8 housing eligibility and find out whether you may qualify for assistance by reading the sections below.
What are the Section 8 requirements in Mississippi?
The basic Section 8 qualifications relate to your citizenship, family status and income. First, this program is limited to applicants who are:
- U.S. citizens.
- U.S. nationals.
- Eligible immigrants.
At least one person in your household needs to be in the U.S. legally in order to receive a housing choice voucher. However, not all categories of immigrants will qualify.
Second, you need to meet HUD’s definition of “family” in order to qualify. You may have family status if you are a single person, as long as certain criteria are met. To be meet the Section 8 requirements as a single person, you may need to:
- Be a senior.
- Have a disability.
- Be displaced from home.
Families can also be made of two or more people who live together. Marital status, sexual orientation or the presence of children in the household does not affect whether a family meets HUD’s definition.
A PHA may have its own Section 8 requirements that you need to meet in addition to the basic HUD rules. For example, certain housing agencies will require you to be 21 years of age or older when applying for assistance, while others will allow any adult over 18 years of age to apply. Furthermore, a PHA might require each adult applicant to pass a background check.
Landlords who lease to Section 8 participants may have separate eligibility criteria as well. Even if you meet the Section 8 qualifications set by your PHA, a landlord might request that you provide rental references, pass a credit check or complete other steps.
Because landlords and PHAs can set their own rules, your Section 8 eligibility in Mississippi can vary from one location to the next. Learn more about the requirements you may need to meet by reading our Section 8 guide here.
What are the Mississippi Section 8 income limits?
The Section 8 income guidelines in Mississippi are determined by HUD and are subject to change each year. When determining if you are eligible, the PHA will compare your income with the median family earnings in your city, county or another local area. Your income is not compared to a state-wide average due to the fact that income levels are different throughout the state.
In most cases, you must earn less than 50 percent of the median family income in order to qualify. However, the Section 8 income limits require PHAs to save most of their vouchers for families with a lower income. If your income is less than 30 percent of the median for your area, you oftentimes have a higher chance of being approved for a voucher.
PHAs target lower-income families in an effort to help residents with the greatest financial need. You can still meet the Mississippi Section 8 requirements if your income is closer to 50 percent of the median. Just keep in mind that fewer vouchers are available for people with an income at this level.
Which documents do I need to meet Section 8 requirements in Mississippi?
A PHA will need to check that you meet the Section 8 requirements after you apply. Depending on the organization’s policies, you may or may not need to provide documents with your initial application. In most cases, you need to verify your eligibility by undergoing a full review once your name is selected for a voucher.
To prove that you have Section 8 eligibility, you can show a variety of documents. The paperwork you need will depend on your situation and the PHA’s requirements. You will usually need some or all of the following:
- Photo identification
- Birth certificate
- Social Security card
- Immigration or citizenship paperwork
- Tax returns
- Pay stubs
- Benefit award letters
- Bank statements
Which Mississippi Section 8 housing requirements do I have to meet?
If you meet the Section 8 income limits and other requirements, you will be eligible for assistance. Upon being selected for a voucher, it is your responsibility to find a place to rent that meets your PHA’s requirements.
In some cases, your current home may qualify and you will not need to move. Other times, you must locate a new home or apartment. The unit you choose must:
- Be large enough for your family.
- Be rented at a fair rate.
- Not be owned by a close relative or family member.
- Be rented by a landlord willing to take Section 8.
- Pass a basic health and safety inspection.
Note that a PHA inspection is required before you move in. If you choose to live in the same unit each year, the housing authority will do annual inspections. An inspection is still required even if you want to use your assistance at your current home rather than moving.
What happens if I don’t meet the Section 8 qualifications?
It is important to understand that the Mississippi Section 8 income limits and other requirements may be different from other programs. Some PHAs provide more than one type of rental assistance. If you do not meet the Section 8 requirements, you may consider asking your PHA about other types of help you can qualify for.
In addition to PHA programs, there are a variety of community organizations and charities that may offer short-term or permanent rental assistance. Consider looking for other organizations if you are unable to qualify for help from a housing agency.