Meeting all the Section 8 requirements in New Mexico is essential if you want to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) establishes the eligibility criteria for vouchers while Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) in the state administer them. However, PHAs may adjust the income criteria based on the median income in the area.
Thus, you must understand the NM Section 8 qualifications for the county where you live. Otherwise, you will base your chances of receiving vouchers off of incorrect information. Reviewing the eligibility criteria will help you determine whether applying is worth your time. It can also make it easier to fill out your county’s application. Learn more about the program requirements below.
What are the Section 8 requirements in New Mexico?
You may have Section 8 eligibility in NM if you meet the citizenship, residency, income and background check requirements. To meet the citizenship requirements, you must be either a U.S. citizen or a legal non-citizen.
In addition, you must also be able to prove your status with documents. Keep in mind that only certain categories of non-citizens will be eligible.
To meet the residency requirements, you must live in the state. Additionally, your home address in NM must be your primary address.
Meeting the Section 8 income limits is one of the most important requirements. This means that your income must fall under a certain amount depending on the size of your family. Different counties will have different thresholds.
Lastly, your PHA will perform a background check on you and every member of your family. Criminal activity that shows up on your background check may be grounds for an application denial.
What are the New Mexico Section 8 income limits?
In order to have Section 8 housing eligibility in New Mexico, your income must fall below a certain amount. To find the income limit that applies to you, visit your PHA’s website or contact your PHA directly. Note that some housing authorities have the most current income limits posted on their websites, while others do not.
As an example, the Albuquerque Housing Authority (ABQHA) website offers a list of the 2019 income limits for its county. A family of three, for instance, may qualify for vouchers if its income does not exceed $29,600. A family of four may qualify if its income is below $32,850.
If you cannot find the Section 8 income guidelines for your county online, call or email your PHA. A representative will be able to answer your eligibility questions and provide a detailed explanation of the income limits.
When you apply, you will be placed into a category depending on your income. For instance, you will be placed in the “very low income” category if your earnings do not exceed 50 percent of the median income in your area. You will be considered extremely low income if your earnings do not exceed 30 percent of the median.
To find out whether you meet the Section 8 housing requirements based on your income, combine the earnings of every working family member. This includes forms of unearned income, such as:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
- Stocks and bonds.
- Money in checking and savings accounts.
Usually, money placed into a retirement fund is exempt from this calculation. Learn more about requirements for the HCV program by downloading our detailed guide.
Which documents do I need to meet Section 8 requirements in New Mexico?
If you believe that you meet the Section 8 requirements in New Mexico and want to start following the application steps for the program, you must prove your eligibility. Generally, your PHA will require you to submit certain documents for verification. These include:
- Social Security cards for you and your family members.
- Proof of identity and legal citizenship, such as a birth certificate, state ID, driver’s license, passport, visa, permanent resident card and more.
- Proof of income, such as recent paychecks or an employment verification letter stating how much you earn.
- Proof of unearned income, if applicable.
Depending on your situation, you may be asked to present other documents as well. For instance, your PHA may ask you to provide medical documents if you have a disability.
Which New Mexico Section 8 housing requirements do I have to meet?
It is important to remember that your NM Section 8 eligibility is contingent on your ability to follow program rules and regulations. If you are approved for vouchers, you must agree to find a home that meets the program’s quality standards.
For instance, an HCV home must have enough space to accommodate the size of your family. It must also have certain utilities, such as a refrigerator and a stove or cooking range.
If you think you have found a home that meets the program requirements, you may request an inspection from your PHA. A caseworker will then inspect the unit.
In order to meet the Section 8 housing requirements, you must also agree to abide by the terms of your lease. The lease must last for a minimum of one year and you are required to pay a certain portion of the rent. If your income changes while you are renting the unit, you must report those changes to your PHA.
What happens if I don’t meet the Section 8 qualifications?
Unfortunately, your PHA may determine that you do not meet the Section 8 requirements in New Mexico and will send you a rejection notice. If this happens, you may be allowed to reapply for assistance at a later date. This depends on whether your circumstances change. For example, a reduced income may merit another application.
On the other hand, you may be able to request an informal review depending on the reasons for which your application was rejected. If your PHA allows you to request one, you must do so as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you may lose your window of opportunity.
If you are approved for the review, it will take place at your county’s housing authority. A caseworker will discuss your application with you and explain why the decision was made.
You may then explain why you disagree. Usually, the head of the household or a representative of the family will attend the meeting.