Section 8 in Vermont is a program that helps reduce the amount you owe each month for rent. Through this program, it is easier to find low income housing that falls within your budget. Section 8 housing is available throughout the state of Vermont, allowing you to find an affordable rental in just about any area.
This program is federally funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but it is managed at the state and local level by Public Housing Agencies (PHAs). Therefore, you must apply for assistance directly through a local PHA.
Vermont has several PHAs that provide HUD housing resources. Because each PHA is independently run, it is important to be aware that the exact application steps and eligibility requirements may vary depending on where you apply. Below, learn more about getting a Section 8 housing voucher in Vermont, including how to qualify and apply for assistance.
Discover Vermont Section 8 Requirements
There are several Section 8 requirements you must meet before you can qualify for assistance. The most important factors that determine your eligibility are your:
- Income and assets
- Family composition
- Legal presence in the U.S.
- Disability (if applicable)
First, your family must fall below the Section 8 income limits in your area to qualify. The exact Section 8 housing requirements vary depending on which county or metropolitan area you live in, due to the fact that income varies across the state.
Generally speaking, your income must be no more than 50 percent of the median family income in your area. However, be aware that the majority of vouchers are reserved for families whose income is no more than 30 percent of the median income.
Second, your household must meet HUD’s definition of family. You can usually meet the Section 8 qualifications as a single person if you are elderly, disabled or have been displaced from your home. If your household is made up of two or more people who are related by blood, marriage, adoption or another court action, you may also meet the definition of family. You do not need to have children in order to be considered a family by HUD’s standards.
Third, Section 8 eligibility in Vermont is limited to people who are in the U.S. legally. This includes U.S. citizens and nationals, as well as legally-present residents, asylum seekers and other individuals. A family with a mix of legal and non-legal residents can still have Section 8 housing eligibility if they meet the other requirements. However, the amount of assistance will be adjusted based on the number of family members who are legally present.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Vermont
You must apply for Section 8 in Vermont through a local PHA. Keep in mind that each PHA covers a specific area, meaning that you must apply for help through the PHA that covers the community you want to live in. It is possible to move to a new area once you begin receiving assistance, but you will initially only be approved for housing that is within the boundaries of the PHA’s service area.
Filling out a Section 8 application will likely get you placed onto a waiting list unless a PHA is able to assist you right away. It is important to understand that this program is not meant to be a solution for emergency housing assistance. Waiting lists can be long, with some areas having a wait time of months or even years.
In many cases, your initial Section 8 housing application will only include basic details that the PHA will use to determine if you are eligible for the waitlist. You may need to fill out a more detailed Section 8 application form with the PHA once your name reaches the top of the list.
Note that the application methods and steps will vary depending on the PHA that you use. Some will allow you to submit a Section 8 application online, but others may require you to mail a paper form or apply in person. In any case, you usually will need the same types of information for a low income hosing application, such as:
- The names and Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of every family member in the household.
- Your current address.
- Information on your income and assets.
- Details on any other forms of assistance you receive.
- Identification documents such as a driver’s license, birth certificate or others.
Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in Vermont
As mentioned above, the Section 8 waiting list in Vermont can be long depending on where you apply. The reason that PHAs use waiting lists is that the demand for housing is usually much higher than the number of available vouchers. In areas with a higher demand for housing, you will need to wait longer. Checking your Section 8 waiting list status will help give you a better idea of how long it will take to receive a voucher.
Keep in mind that your Section 8 eligibility will be verified again once your name reaches the top of the list. If you were initially eligible to be placed on the waiting list, you may still be denied assistance if you are unable to meet the requirements once a voucher is available. For example, a change in income, family composition or other circumstances may affect your ability to receive assistance.
Learn About Vermont Section 8 Housing Lists
Looking through Section 8 listings in your area may help you find a rental unit once you are approved for this program. In many cases, you can rent any house or apartment of your choosing as long as it meets the specifications of your voucher. For example, a unit may need to have a certain number of bedrooms to qualify. There are a variety of low income apartments for rent in Vermont that will suit your housing needs once you have a voucher in hand.
If you receive assistance through a special program with your PHA, you may need to rent a specific type of unit rather than finding housing on the open market. For example, it may be necessary to look at an approved Section 8 housing list if you receive a voucher that can only be used in a housing project. You may ask for a Section 8 housing list from your PHA if you need help finding a place to use your voucher.