Low-income families, elderly people and residents with disabilities may qualify for Section 8 housing in North Dakota. Overall, this housing choice voucher program was created to help residents who are struggling financially find low income housing options at local market rates. As such, beneficiaries are only required to pay 30 percent of their monthly income toward rent. Then, funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) covers the rest.
The Section 8 program is funded on the federal level. However, these funds are distributed to local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) that manage the program’s eligibility requirements and approve or deny applicants. During any given time, PHAs receive a specific number of vouchers for their area. Therefore, state residents who are interested in Section 8 housing must contact their local PHA to determine when they can apply and whether they are eligible for HUD housing assistance.
Discover North Dakota Section 8 Requirements
General Section 8 requirements can vary by region. For instance, certain places may accept applications if your income is up to 80 percent of the local median household income, but prioritize applicants with incomes below 30 percent of the median.
Because Section 8 income limits vary depending on your location, areas with higher average salaries and costs of living will have higher income limits than low-income areas. As a reference, the maximum allowable income for a family of three in Richland County is $36,900, while it is $38,550 in Traill County.
Other Section 8 qualifications include the ability to pass a background check. In certain cases, applicants with drug-related convictions may not be eligible for assistance through the program. Moreover, residents with a history of damaging real estate properties or who have been evicted from a Section 8 program in the past may not be eligible.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in North Dakota
The process for submitting a Section 8 application varies depending on where you live and how your local PHA operates. In most cases, a PHA require you to apply in person and submit a paper application, along with photocopies of important documents. However, you may only be able to apply on a particular day of the month or during the office’s business hours.
In certain PHAs, you may be able to submit a Section 8 housing application by mail or by fax. Furthermore, in a handful of offices, you will be able to submit an application, modify your information or check your status through an official online portal.
As an example, the Fargo Housing and Redevelopment Authority requires individuals to apply for Section 8 by submitting a paper form via mail or in person. On the other hand, the Grand Forks Housing Authority allow residents to file a Section 8 application online. To do so, applicants must create an account with the PHA’s online portal and then submit their form electronically.
It is important to keep in mind that you are not always able to apply for Section 8 housing. Most PHAs receive far more applications for benefits than they have vouchers. As a result, housing authorities typically open up their application periods for a few weeks at a time. When the enrollment period closes, residents are no longer able to apply. Then, the PHA will go through the applications that were filed and place eligible residents on a waiting list.
Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in North Dakota
After you submit a Section 8 application, your PHA will process your request. If you are deemed eligible, you are placed on a Section 8 waiting list that is managed on a local level.
However, be mindful that the demand for a housing choice voucher exceeds the supply of available vouchers in virtually every county. Additionally, the program does not limit how long someone can retain a voucher as long as he or she follows the rules. As a result, you may remain on the waiting list for months or years at a time.
Certain applicants that are placed on the Section 8 waiting list will receive priority over others. With that said, every PHA may have its own determination for who gets priority. For instance, Fargo Housing and Redevelopment Authority prioritizes applications where the head of household is 50 years of age or older. Following that, families with minors, U.S. veterans, residents with disabilities and victims of domestic violence are given priority. Consequently, some applicants may have to wait longer than others to move up on the waiting list.
Finally, it is important to update your Section 8 application information on a regular basis. Most PHAs require you to inform them if your income, household makeup or address has changed. That is because these changes can affect your eligibility.
Additionally, failing to update your address could cause you to lose your spot on the list. Many PHAs will send you a notice every year to confirm that you are still interested in applying for benefits. If you do not respond to the mailer, you may be taken out of the Section 8 waiting list.
Learn About North Dakota Section 8 Housing Lists
Once you receive your Section 8 voucher, you can begin searching for a landlord who will accept it. This may prove to be more difficult than expected, because certain landlords are reluctant to accept a Section 8 voucher. Overall, landlords may be put off by the inspections required by HUD or may be prejudiced against individuals enrolled in the program.
On the other hand, you can find a Section 8 housing list that includes local units available through Section 8 vouchers in most areas. Depending on your area, these Section 8 listings can be found online or through your local PHA.
If you cannot find an affordable apartment through these online listings, you still have the option to approach landlords independently. Landlords are more like ly to accept your voucher if you can provide previous rental references to confirm that you are a safe and reliable tenant. Finding housing with a voucher can be a difficult process, but it is doable.