Your Section 8 eligibility in North Dakota is based on several factors, such as your income, family composition, citizenship and more. Generally, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) determines the basic requirements for this program. However, local public housing agencies (PHAs) administer this program in the state. Overall, the Section 8 qualifications are very similar regardless of where you apply.
Even if you meet the Section 8 requirements in ND, it is important to understand that you are not guaranteed to receive assistance. That is because most PHAs do not have enough housing choice vouchers to assist every single applicant. Read below to learn more about your Section 8 housing eligibility and discover which factors can affect your approval for a voucher.
What are the Section 8 requirements in North Dakota?
In order to meet the Section 8 qualifications, you must be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national or a legally-present immigrant. While certain categories of non-citizens are eligible, that is not the case for all of them. Note that, for your family to qualify, at least one member of your household needs to be in the U.S. legally.
As a general rule, your Section 8 housing eligibility is not affected by your state residency in North Dakota. Therefore, you may apply for help through any PHA of your choosing. However, be mindful that certain housing agencies may have policies about helping local residents before outside applicants.
Next, you must meet the HUD’s definition of family status. According to the HUD, a family can be composed of a single person who:
- Is a senior.
- Has a disability.
- Has been involuntarily displaced from home.
- Is the remaining member of a family that receives rental assistance.
Moreover, families can be made up of two or more people who live in the same household. Your marital status, sexual orientation, gender or other similar factors do not affect your family status. Furthermore, you can qualify as a family with or without children in your household.
Under the Section 8 requirements, you are only eligible for assistance if you are in good standing with other government housing programs. For example, you cannot have any outstanding debts with other PHAs. In many cases, you can be denied Section 8 help if you have violated the rules for other types of government housing assistance, which includes public housing.
Keep in mind that the exact Section 8 qualifications can vary from one PHA to the next. Some organizations will require that you submit to a criminal background check or a credit check before you can be granted rental assistance.
Additionally, a PHA may consider your rental history in the private market. You may or may not need to provide references from previous landlords before you can participate.
What are the North Dakota Section 8 income limits?
The Section 8 income guidelines are determined by HUD. Note that the limits can change each year. If you have not been able to meet the income requirements in the past, you may consider checking your eligibility again.
Under the Section 8 income limits in North Dakota, you usually must earn no more than 50 percent of the median family income for your area. With this program, your earnings are compared with local families in your city or county rather than the state as a whole. This is because income levels can vary significantly from one region to the next.
Note that PHAs are required by law to save 75 percent of their vouchers for families that earn less than 30 percent of the median income. This means that while you can qualify with a higher income, your chances of being approved for a voucher are greater if your income is below 30 percent of the median.
Generally, local PHAs have this rule to ensure that families with the lowest income are more likely to receive the help they need. Learn more about the Section 8 guidelines in our detailed guide here.
Which documents do I need to meet Section 8 requirements in North Dakota?
You must verify the Section 8 qualifications of each person in your household. To do so, you may present some or all of the following documents:
- Social Security card
- Birth certificate
- Photo ID
- Immigration papers
- Bank statements
- Tax returns
- Benefit award letters or pay stubs
Whenever possible, your documents should be original or certified copies rather than photocopies. Your PHA can tell you exactly which paperwork you need to prove your eligibility.
Which North Dakota Section 8 housing requirements do I have to meet?
If you meet the Section 8 requirements in North Dakota, you may be approved for assistance. Upon receiving your voucher, it is your responsibility to locate a unit to rent. The rental you choose must meet a few basic criteria before you can move forward with a lease.
First, the home or apartment needs to be leased by a landlord willing to take Section 8 vouchers. Unfortunately, not all property owners participate in this program. Note that you are generally not allowed to rent a property owned by one of your close family members.
Second, the unit you choose must pass an inspection. Your PHA will ensure that your home meets Section 8 housing requirements relating to health and safety. If the apartment has certain types of damage or is in substandard condition, it may not pass the inspection.
Third, an apartment will only meet the Section 8 requirements if it is large enough for your family and is rented out at a fair rate compared to other similar units. A PHA will determine what a fair rental rate is and how many bedrooms are needed for your family.
Note: You may be able to use your rental assistance on your current home. If you do not wish to move, consider asking your current landlord about this possibility.
What happens if I don’t meet the Section 8 qualifications?
In the event you do not meet Section 8 eligibility in North Dakota, the PHA will notify you in writing. You may consider applying for help through a different housing authority if you are able to meet the eligibility criteria elsewhere.
Note that some PHAs have more than one type of rental assistance available, and each program may have different requirements. There may also be charities or other community groups in your area that provide rental help.