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Learn About Section 8 Requirements in South Carolina

The main South Carolina Section 8 requirements relate to factors such as your citizenship, income, family status and other similar criteria. Many of the Section 8 qualifications are determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which funds and oversees this program at the federal level. However, at the local level, public housing agencies (PHAs) distribute Section 8 vouchers and have the ability to set their own application guidelines.

Because PHAs are independent from one another, your Section 8 eligibility can vary slightly depending on where you apply. Furthermore, income requirements are different throughout the state. To learn more about the Section 8 income limits and all of the other requirements you need to meet to get a housing choice voucher, read the sections below.

What are the Section 8 requirements in South Carolina?

The first step in establishing your Section 8 eligibility in South Carolina is to meet the citizenship or legal presence requirements. At least one person in your household needs to be in the U.S. legally in order for your family to qualify. As a general rule, U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and certain categories of legal immigrants can meet the requirements.

Note that the amount of assistance you qualify for is based on the number of family members who are legally present. In other words, the more household members who are in the U.S. legally, the more assistance you can receive as a family.

Next, your Section 8 housing eligibility is based on whether you meet HUD’s definition of “family.” Under this program, families can be composed of:

  • A single person who is elderly, disabled or displaced from home.
  • A single person who is the remaining member of a family that receives assistance.
  • Any other single person who meets the program requirements, such as income limits.
  • Two or more people who live together, regardless of marital status or whether they have children.

In order to meet the Section 8 requirements in SC, your family also needs to be in good standing with other PHAs and government housing programs. If you have faced certain issues, such as owing a debt to a PHA or being evicted from public housing, you might have trouble qualifying for rental assistance in the future.

In addition to the requirements set by HUD, you might need to meet a few additional Section 8 eligibility criteria with certain PHAs. A housing agency may check things such as your criminal history or even your credit history before allowing you to receive a voucher. Learn more about HUD requirements by reading our Section 8 guide here.

What are the South Carolina Section 8 income limits?

Under the Section 8 income guidelines in South Carolina, you can usually qualify if you earn less than 50 percent of the median income for your area. Your earnings will be compared with the median income for the county or city you live in, rather than the state as a whole.

If you make less than 30 percent of the median income, you might have a higher chance of receiving a voucher. PHAs are required by federal law to save 75 percent of their vouchers for families who fall into the lowest income bracket. This rule exists so that families with the greatest need for assistance have a better chance of getting a voucher more quickly.

The Section 8 income limits in South Carolina are subject to change. The HUD generally updates the requirements each year, which means you might qualify in the future if you are not currently eligible.

Note: Some PHAs will extend Section 8 eligibility to families that earn up to 80 percent of the median income. However, these households usually need to meet additional criteria to qualify.

Which documents do I need to meet Section 8 requirements in South Carolina?

If you meet the Section 8 requirements in South Carolina, you should be prepared to give the PHA documents that verify your eligibility. The exact paperwork you need might vary depending on your situation as well as an individual PHA’s requirements. In most cases, you will need some of the following items:

  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Income verification, such as pay stubs or benefit award letters
  • Immigration or citizenship documents, if applicable
  • Photo ID or another form of identification

During the application process, you will need Section 8 eligibility documents for each person in your household. However, the types of paperwork you need for each person in your family may vary.

Which South Carolina Section 8 housing requirements do I have to meet?

Upon meeting the Section 8 income limits and other requirements, you may be granted rental assistance. Once you receive your voucher, you must begin looking for housing. However, you cannot choose just any apartment. The unit you select needs to meet these requirements:

  • Pass a PHA health and safety inspection
  • Be rented by a landlord who takes vouchers
  • Have a fair market rent, as determined by your PHA

You might be able to use your rental assistance where you currently live, provided that the unit meets all of the requirements. However, if you are renting from a close relative, your PHA may not allow you to use your rental assistance on your current home. According to the Section 8 housing requirements, you generally must rent from a private landlord, not a family member.

What happens if I don’t meet the Section 8 qualifications?

If you do not meet Section 8 eligibility in SC when you apply, the PHA will send you a written notification. You have the right to request a review of your application if you disagree with the decision. In some cases, you may have the opportunity to reapply.

Keep in mind that the Section 8 qualifications can vary from one PHA to the next. You might be eligible through a different organization. Most PHAs have more than one type of rental assistance available. The Section 8 requirements can differ from those for other programs, which means you may be eligible for another type of assistance.