Section 8 in Utah is a federal program that is overseen by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This program, also known as the housing choice voucher program, helps reduce the cost of rent you owe each month by providing vouchers.
While Section 8 housing is federally funded, it is operated at the local level by public housing authorities (PHAs). Therefore, you must apply for assistance directly through a PHA in your area. Because there are many PHAs throughout Utah, you will need to find out which organization serves the city or community that you want to live in. Below, learn more about HUD housing in Utah and discover how to qualify and apply for assistance with your rent.
Discover Utah Section 8 Requirements
The basic Section 8 requirements in Utah relate to your income, assets family composition and legal presence in the U.S. You can generally meet the Section 8 qualifications if your family’s income does not exceed 50 percent of the median household income in the area.
Keep in mind that your family size, as well as where you live, will affect the income limits that apply to you. For example, large metro areas tend to have a higher median income than rural areas. Section 8 income limits are also subject to change from one year to the next if the median income in your area goes up or down.
Section 8 eligibility in Utah is limited to people who are in the U.S. legally. This can include U.S. citizens or nationals, as well as lawful permanent residents, asylum seekers and other legally-present immigrants.
A family can sometimes still meet the Section 8 housing requirements in Utah if some members of the household are legally present, but others are not. In such cases, the amount of rental assistance will be based on the number of legally-present family members rather than the total number of members.
When determining if you meet the Section 8 qualifications, it also helps to understand HUD’s official definition of a family. A family can be composed of:
- A single person who is disabled, elderly or displaced from home.
- Two or more people who are related by blood, marriage or adoption.
Your Section 8 eligibility is not based on whether you have children. Similarly, you can still be count as a family if you are a single person if you meet at least one of HUD’s criteria
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Utah
When you apply for Section 8, it is important to be aware that the demand for this program oftentimes exceeds the number of vouchers available. Therefore, the Utah Section 8 application process usually involves filling out an initial application that will get you added to a waiting list, then completing a full application once your name reaches the top of the waiting list.
You must apply for Section 8 housing through the PHA that serves the community you want to live in. For example, you must apply with the Housing Authority of Utah County if you wish to live in that county. You are allowed to move to a new area in the future once you begin receiving vouchers, but you initially must live in the area served by the PHA where you submitted your application.
Note that you can only fill out a Section 8 housing application when a PHA is actively accepting applications. In some areas, waiting lists frequently fill up, forcing the PHA to stop accepting new applicants. If you are having trouble submitting an application for this reason, you can wait and apply at a later date or try again in a different area of the state.
The application process can vary depending on the PHA that you use. For example, some PHAs will accept a Section 8 application online, while others do not. Furthermore, each PHA will have its own Section 8 application form for you to use. With that in mind, it is necessary to contact your local PHA to learn the exact application steps you must take.
Regardless of the method you use to submit your application, it will usually require the same basic information and documents. This may include:
- The names and Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of all family members in the household.
- A form of photo identification and the Social Security card for the head of the household.
- A signature from each adult in the family.
- Birth certificates and other forms of identification for household members.
Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in Utah
As mentioned above, you will be placed on a Section 8 waiting list if the PHA is unable to assist you right away. The length of the wait varies depending on the current demand. In some cases, it may be as short as a few months or as long as a year or more. You may inquire about your Section 8 waiting list status by contacting the PHA that took your application.
If you are placed on a Section 8 waiting list in Utah, it is important to be aware that you must maintain your eligibility in order to qualify for a voucher when one becomes available. The PHA will ask you to update your household information once your name comes up on the list. If any eligibility factors have changed, such as your income, you may not be able to receive a voucher.
Learn About Utah Section 8 Housing Lists
Consulting a Section 8 housing list in Utah can help you locate an affordable unit once you receive a voucher. Keep in mind that not all landlords or apartment buildings will accept vouchers, and not every rental unit will qualify for this program. PHAs may have an approved Section 8 housing list that you can use if you are unsure. You may also find Section 8 listings on a PHA’s website if the organization has partnered with local apartment complexes.
When searching for low income apartments for rent, keep in mind that your PHA may require your unit to meet specific criteria. At a minimum, the unit must be safe, sanitary and decent. PHAs may also require that the rent does not exceed a certain amount based on the number of bedrooms the unit has.