Learn About Section 8 Requirements in Montana
The Section 8 requirements in Montana are outlined by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and administered by the state Department of Commerce. In order to qualify for housing choice vouchers, an applicant’s income, place of residence and more will be taken into consideration. Generally, it is important for interested applicants to review the eligibility criteria before applying so they know what to expect.
If you meet all the Section 8 qualifications and are approved for the program, your eligibility will still be checked periodically. This is done to make sure that you still qualify for vouchers over time. If you are curious about the program, it may also help to contact your Public Housing Agency (PHA) for more information. Continue reading below to learn more about your eligibility.
What are the Section 8 requirements in Montana?
In order to have Section 8 eligibility in MT, you must have a permanent residence in the state. You must also be a citizen or a legal non-citizen. Thus, you will need to have a Social Security Number (SSN) or some form of documentation from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
In addition, your Section 8 housing eligibility depends on whether you meet the income requirements in your county. A universal list of income limits does not exist for the state, because each county has a different median income.
Furthermore, you must agree to abide by the program rules if you are approved for vouchers. If you are placed on the waitlist, you will be required to notify your PHA of any changes to your income level or family composition.
Moreover, you must agree to search for a new home that meets health and safety standards. Finally, the lease you sign must last for at least one year.
What are the Montana Section 8 income limits?
The Section 8 housing requirements in Montana state that your earnings must not exceed the income limit for your family’s size. Income limits for every county are updated each year to adjust for variations in area median incomes (AMIs). Thus, it is important for you to check the most recent income limit that applies to your county.
As an example, the low-income limit for a family of three in Dawson County is $50,800. Low-income is defined as 80 percent of the AMI. In order for a family of three in this county to be labeled as very low income, which is 50 percent of the AMI, its annual earnings must fall below $30,950.
According to the HUD Section 8 income guidelines, you will have a higher chance of receiving vouchers if your income level is very low or extremely low. This is due in part to HUD laws, which require all PHAs to give 75 percent of their vouchers to extremely low income families.
To find out if you meet the income requirements, you must combine the earnings of every family member who holds a job. You will also need to account for unearned income, such as cash on hand or money in certain savings accounts.
You may still meet the Section 8 requirements in MT if you are receiving monetary benefits from another federal assistance program. However, you must report these earnings to your PHA. This includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefits and more.
You may not need to report certain resources, such as vehicles or the home in which you currently live. To learn more about income limits, download our comprehensive guide.
Which documents do I need to meet Section 8 requirements in Montana?
If you think you meet the Section 8 qualifications, you must be able to prove that the information you are providing is accurate. As a result, your PHA may require you to bring in certain documents to verify your identity and more.
Nonetheless, having the appropriate paperwork in your possession will also be helpful during the completion of your application form. Mandatory documents may include:
- Proof that you live in the state, such as a utility bill or lease agreement
- Proof that you are a citizen or a legal non-citizen
- Proof of your employment
- Proof of your resources, if applicable
You may be required to bring in other documents as well. For example, if you are a senior or have a disability, a caseworker may ask to see medical documents from a primary care provider. If you are enrolled in school or a training program, you may need to present proof of that as well.
Which Montana Section 8 housing requirements do I have to meet?
If you have Section 8 eligibility and reach the top of the waitlist in your county, you will get a notification. From here, you may begin looking for a new home that meets program criteria. For instance, the housing unit must be in a reasonable price range and pass a health and safety inspection.
During the inspection, a PHA employee will make sure that the unit has appropriate utilities in working condition. Additionally, this agent will check the rental unit’s electrical system and look for any signs of unsanitary conditions.
Keep in mind that you are responsible for finding a suitable home. If you have a disability, your PHA may provide you with additional assistance.
To maintain your Section 8 housing eligibility in Montana, you must also agree to sign and comply with a lease agreement. Your lease must last for at least 12 months and you are required to pay your portion of the rent. Additionally, the landlord of the housing unit must accept housing choice vouchers and be approved by your PHA.
What happens if I don’t meet the Section 8 qualifications?
Unfortunately, many applicants do not meet the Section 8 requirements and receive rejection notices. In some circumstances, an applicant does have all the qualifications, but the PHA is unable to accommodate them due to the priority of extremely low income applicants.
Because funds for the Section 8 program are limited, PHAs have the authority to determine which families need more assistance than others. If you have received a denial notice and you disagree with the decision, you may request an informal review.
Overall, this review will take place at your PHA and give you the opportunity to state your case. Note that you must request a review as soon as possible, because there may be a time limit. In addition, depending on certain circumstances, you may not be entitled to a review.