If you are struggling to afford safe and sanitary housing, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program may be able to assist you. Funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Section 8 in New Hampshire provides subsidies in the form of vouchers to qualifying low-income families so that they can afford to pay rent.
With the help of this program, beneficiaries are only required to pay up to 40 percent of their adjusted income toward rent and utilities. However, the amount a participant pays is dependent on his or her income. In any case, the Section 8 housing program will pay the remaining amount directly to the landlord.
With a Section 8 housing voucher, recipients can choose to stay in the unit where they currently reside or move to another unit, as long as it meets the HUD’s Housing Quality Standards (HQS). This gives beneficiaries the freedom to live in any single-family house, townhome or apartment, as long as it meets those minimum requirements.
To qualify for low income housing in New Hampshire, residents must be considered extremely low income or very low income, both of which have definitions established by the HUD. To learn more about this government subsidy program and its eligibility requirements, read the sections below.
Discover New Hampshire Section 8 Requirements
In order to meet Section 8 requirements in New Hampshire, you must earn an income that is at or below the income limit in your area, according to your household’s size. Typically, if your household’s combined income is below 50 percent of the area median income, you will qualify for low income housing.
On the other hand, it is important to note that the program is required to allocate 75 percent of its vouchers to residents who are considered to be extremely low income by the HUD. These families have incomes below 30 percent of their area’s median income. In some cases, families can receive rental assistance if their income is below 80 percent of their area’s median income.
In addition to meeting these Section 8 income limits, you must meet other requirements established by the HUD. This includes being a U.S. citizen or a legal resident. Furthermore, Section 8 disqualifies the applications from residents who:
- Owe any money to a housing authority.
- Are classified lifetime sex offenders.
- Reside in a household that includes a member who is engaged in violent or drug-related criminal activity.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in New Hampshire
There are two parts to the Section 8 application process:
- The preliminary application.
- Verifying your information.
You can complete the preliminary application in several ways:
- Contact your local PHA and find out how to file a Section 8 application (local PHAs may have different methods).
- Request that a Section 8 housing application be mailed to you.
- Download the proper application form and mail it to the address on the form.
When filling out the application, you will be expected to answer questions regarding all of your household’s members. For instance, you will be required to provide your household’s combined gross annual income. Moreover, the Section 8 application will ask you to list the number of adults and dependents in your household.
In addition, you will need to provide your Social Security Number (SSN) and personal identifying information. If you believe that you qualify for a priority, be sure to let your PHA know. All PHAs have their own set of preferences, such as giving priority to those who have a terminal illness, are at risk of becoming homeless, or are victims of domestic violence.
Make sure to be thorough when filling out your low income housing application form, and that all of your contact information is correct. After your preliminary application, you will be placed on a waiting list. Once your name reaches the top of that list, you will need to verify your eligibility by submitting certain documents.
Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in New Hampshire
After applying to this government rental assistance program, you will be placed on a Section 8 waiting list. Due to the great demand for vouchers and the limited amount of resources available, it is best to apply to more than one local PHA. That way, you will be placed on more than one waiting list and can receive your voucher more quickly.
It is important to know that most PHAs do not sort their waiting lists on a first-come, first-served basis. Rather, applicants are typically sorted in order of priority, which may be based on local priorities established by a particular PHA. This means that certain applicants may move up the Section 8 waiting list faster than others, regardless of when they applied. Moreover, be mindful that other PHAs may use a lottery system, which will choose beneficiaries at random.
Depending on the local PHA where you apply, you may be able to check your Section 8 waiting list status online. Some PHAs ask that you do not contact them about your number on the list. However, it is in your best interest to update your information if any changes occur after your initial application. If your information on record is incorrect, this can affect your eligibility and cause you to be removed from the list altogether.
Learn About New Hampshire Section 8 Housing Lists
Once you receive your Section 8 voucher, you will need to find a rental unit that meets the HUD’s safety and sanitary standards. Moreover, be mindful that the landlord who owns that unit must be willing to accept your HUD housing vouchers. While no landlord can discriminate against you because of your income, he or she can request that you undergo a pre-screening process. This can make it easier for a landlord to reject you.
Therefore, the best way to find a HUD-approved unit that accepts vouchers is to ask your local PHA for a Section 8 housing list. This will provide you with a directory of landlords who have rented to Section 8 tenants in the past or are willing to rent to the program’s participants.
Be sure to start looking as soon as you are selected from the waiting list. Most PHAs allot a period of time for you to find property. You can risk losing the voucher if you are not able to find a suitable unit in that time frame.