Low-income families and individuals in the state who struggle to make their monthly rent payments may benefit from applying for Section 8 in South Dakota. This program typically focuses on helping families, the elderly and people with disabilities stay in the private market, even if they cannot afford market rental rates in a particular area.
Beneficiaries who receive Section 8 vouchers are expected to allocate between 30 and 40 percent of their monthly income toward rent. The remainder of their rent is paid for by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The Section 8 program operates at the local level through Public Housing Agencies (PHAs). As such, each local PHA will have its own processes for receiving applications, sorting through candidates and issuing vouchers. Once you start receiving these vouchers, you can remain in the program for as long as you are eligible. However, if your income or household makeup changes and you no longer qualify for low income housing, you must give up your vouchers.
Discover South Carolina Section 8 Requirements
Before applying to Section 8, it is important to determine whether you are eligible to receive these benefits. The general Section 8 requirements specify that vouchers should be issued to low-income families, the elderly and people with disabilities.
Federal guidelines stipulate that 75 percent of Section 8 vouchers should go to “extremely low-income” households, which are family units that earn less than 30 percent of the median income for an area. The rest should go to “very low-income” households, which earn less than 50 percent of the local median income. In a few cases, households earning up to 80 percent of the median income may qualify. However, this is rare.
Your local PHA will determine the Section 8 qualifications for your area. For example, according to the Housing Authority of the City of Charleston, the Section 8 income limit for a family of three is $28,350. On the other hand, the limit is $34,300 for a family of three that applies through the Lancaster City Housing Authority.
In addition to these income limits, your Section 8 eligibility also varies depending on your ability to pass a background check. If you or anyone in your household has violent convictions or drug convictions on your record, you may be disqualified. Additionally, if you have been evicted from Section 8 in the past or currently have debts with a PHA, you may be disqualified.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in South Carolina
The process for submitting a Section 8 application varies depending on the policies established by your local PHA. For instance, the Lancaster City Housing Authority allows you to apply for Section 8 online. However, other PHAs may require you to submit an application by mail or in person.
When you fill out your Section 8 application, you must provide all the information requested. This includes providing the Social Security Numbers (SSNs), total income and total assets for all of the members of your household.
Moreover, all members of a family unit must consent to undergo background and criminal record searches. Rental history must also be provided. In some cases, you may even need to obtain documents or signatures from your current landlord.
Keep in mind that you are not always able to apply for Section 8. Since demand for HUD housing is so high, many PHAs restrict the time periods when they accept applications. Consequently, it may be the case that Section 8 applications can only be filed during certain days or weeks in a year.
In a few cases, applications may not be accepted for several years while a local PHA works through its current waiting list. Therefore, you should keep an eye on your local PHA to determine when you can submit an application to receive Section 8 vouchers.
Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in South Carolina
After you submit an application, you will be placed on a Section 8 waiting list for your area. Because the demand for vouchers is so high in most PHAs, these waitlists are often very long. As a result, it may take several months or years for you to receive a voucher.
PHAs may prioritize certain applicants on a Section 8 waiting list over others. As an example, the PHA in the City of Darlington typically prioritizes victims of domestic violence and families that contain people with disabilities, along with a few other groups of people. Residents who do not fit into these classifications will generally have to wait longer than others to receive a voucher.
In certain cases, you can check your Section 8 waiting list status online. If you have an account on the official online portal system from the local PHA, you may be able to check your status by logging in. In other cases, you will be required to contact the PHA directly to learn about your placement on a waitlist.
Learn About South Carolina Section 8 Housing Lists
When you finally receive your HUD housing voucher, you must find a landlord on the private market who is willing to accept it. However, not all landlords will accept Section 8 vouchers, so this can be a difficult process.
Luckily, you can browse through Section 8 housing lists, which can be obtained online or in person. These Section 8 listings include apartments and homes in your area that are owned by landlords that accept these types of HUD housing vouchers. On the other hand, make sure to verify that a listing on these websites is legitimate and available. That is because certain websites are outdated, while others may include scams.
If you are having difficulty finding a property, you may be able to find recommendations through your local PHA by visiting it in person. Many PHAs maintain a list of landlords they have worked with in the past.