Your Oregon Section 8 eligibility is based on several different factors. Some eligibility criteria are determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which funds and oversees this program. Other requirements are set by public housing agencies (PHAs), which take applications and administer vouchers at the local level.
Because PHAs are independent from one another, the Section 8 requirements may vary slightly depending on where you apply. Therefore, it is always a good idea to check the specific eligibility criteria with each housing authority before you apply. Read below to learn more about the Section 8 qualifications you need to have and learn what factors can affect your eligibility for a voucher.
What are the Section 8 requirements in Oregon?
The basic Section 8 qualifications relate to your legal presence in the U.S., income, family status and other similar factors. Section 8 eligibility is only extended to applicants who are:
- U.S. citizens.
- U.S. nationals.
- Legal immigrants.
Note that your immigration category can affect your eligibility. Unfortunately, you might not meet the Section 8 qualifications even if you are in the U.S. legally. In any case, you must have a Social Security Number (SSN) regardless of your citizenship or legal presence status.
You can meet the Section 8 requirements in Oregon even if you are not a resident of the state. Your residency might affect how soon you can get a voucher, but it does not prevent you from applying through any PHA of your choosing.
In addition to meeting the legal presence requirements, you also need to have what is known as “family” status. A family can be a single person or a group of people who live together. Factors such as children, marital status, gender or sexual orientation do not affect whether your household is considered a family.
Families and single people who meet the Section 8 qualifications might be categorized based on their situation. For instance, local PHAs may classify certain family members as being seniors, having a disability or having been displaced from home if certain criteria are met. Consequently, these families may receive assistance more quickly than other applicants in some cases.
Note that PHAs often require that you meet other qualifications before you can get assistance. For example, your Section 8 housing eligibility might be affected by a criminal history.
In most cases, PHAs will also require that you are in good standing with other housing authorities. If you have committed prior housing program violations or you owe debts to other PHAs, it might mean you are ineligible for assistance in the future.
What are the Oregon Section 8 income limits?
The Section 8 income guidelines are published by HUD each year. In most cases, you need to earn less than 50 percent of the median income in your area to qualify. It is possible to qualify with an income up to 80 percent of the median, but this is far less likely.
You have the best chance of receiving a voucher if you earn less than 30 percent of the median income. This is because PHAs are required by law to save most of their vouchers for applicants whose income falls below this level. These rules exist so that families with the lowest income may receive assistance more quickly.
In any case, your income will be compared with families of the same size who live in your city, county or other area rather than being compared with a state average. Keep in mind that the Section 8 income limits are subject to change each year. Learn the exact Section 8 guidelines by reading our guide here.
Which documents do I need to meet Section 8 requirements in Oregon?
You will need to verify your Section 8 housing eligibility when you sign up for assistance. Some housing authorities request verification when you submit your initial application.
Others only need to see your documents when your name is selected for a voucher. In any case, you should be prepared to give the PHA the following paperwork at some point during the application process:
- Birth certificate
- Photo identification
- Proof of Social Security Number (SSN)
- Income verification
- Proof of legal presence in the U.S.
The types of documents you need will depend on your situation. Requirements also vary based on your age. For example, you may not be expected to provide a photo ID for minors in your household.
In any case, it is usually preferable to give the PHA original or certified copies of any documentation. Note that a housing authority may also verify your Section 8 eligibility by contacting banks, employers and other organizations directly.
Which Oregon Section 8 housing requirements do I have to meet?
Once you meet the Section 8 requirements yourself and receive a voucher, the next step in the process is finding a suitable home or apartment to rent. In some cases, you may be able to use your rental assistance where you currently live. If not, you are free to browse the open market for rental properties such as:
- Single-family homes
- Townhomes or duplexes
- Apartments in high-rises or multi-family units
Under the Section 8 housing requirements in Oregon, the unit you choose must be leased by a landlord who is willing to take vouchers. In most cases, you are not allowed to rent a unit owned by a close relative.
Furthermore, the rental unit needs to pass a health and safety inspection, which is performed by your PHA. Housing authorities also ensure that a unit is large enough for your family and that it is leased with a fair market rental rate.
What happens if I don’t meet the Section 8 qualifications?
If you do not meet the Section 8 requirements in Oregon when you apply, the PHA will notify you in writing. You have the right to appeal the decision and receive a fair hearing. Depending on the reason for your denial, you may have the opportunity to apply again.
Keep in mind that many PHAs have more than one housing program. The Oregon Section 8 income limits and other requirements may differ from those for other types of assistance.