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Learn About Section 8 Requirements in Washington

The Washington Section 8 requirements are based on things such as your income, family status, citizenship status and other factors. Many of the main Section 8 qualifications are set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). However, this program is administered at the local level by public housing agencies (PHAs). A housing authority can set its own requirements in addition to those laid out by HUD.

If you meet the requirements and receive a voucher, you also need to find an apartment to rent that meets your PHA’s standards. Read below to learn more about the Section 8 housing requirements and discover what factors affect your eligibility for assistance.

What are the Section 8 requirements in Washington?

In order to meet the Section 8 qualifications in Washington, your household needs to have family status. According to HUD, a family can be a single person or a group of two or more people who live together. Your Section 8 housing eligibility does not depend on things such as your marital status, sexual orientation or whether you have children.

If your family unit meets certain criteria, the members in your family may be considered seniors or as having a disability. While these factors do not usually affect your Section 8 eligibility overall, they might make it easier for you to get assistance more quickly.

Next, at least one person in your household must be in the U.S. legally. Section 8 housing eligibility is only extended to applicants who are U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or certain types of immigrants

Note that if your household has a mix of legal and non-legal residents, the amount of assistance you receive will be prorated. In other words, the amount of your assistance is based on the number of people in your household who are legally present.

Regardless of your citizenship status, you will only meet the Section 8 qualifications if you have a Social Security Number (SSN). Each member of your household will need to provide SSN verification.

Your Section 8 eligibility does not depend on your residency. This means you do not need to live in Washington in order to qualify for assistance in this state. However, PHAs may give preference to local applicants.

When determining if you meet the Section 8 requirements in Washington, a PHA will also look at your history with other housing assistance programs. If you have benefited from Section 8, public housing or other services in the past, any program violations you committed might make you ineligible for assistance in the future.

PHAs may choose to look at other factors when determining eligibility as well. Because each housing authority is an independent organization, the exact requirements can vary depending on where you apply.

What are the Washington Section 8 income limits?

The Section 8 guidelines in Washington are determined by the HUD each year. In general, you can only qualify if your family earns less than 50 percent of the median area income. However, PHAs are required to save 75 percent of their vouchers for families that earn less than 30 percent of the median. This is done so that families with the lowest income have a better chance of receiving rental assistance.

Note that when it comes to Section 8 income limits, your eligibility is based on local median incomes, not a state-wide average. This is because earnings can vary significantly across the state. For this program, your income will usually be compared with families of the same size in your county or city.

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

During the application process, you must verify that you meet the Section 8 income limits and other program requirements. PHAs will request a variety of documents to check your eligibility. You may need to provide any of the following:

  • Birth certificates
  • Social Security cards
  • Citizenship or immigration documents
  • Photo ID cards
  • Bank statements, tax returns or pay stubs
  • Benefit award letters from other programs

You may need to certify your Section 8 eligibility when you submit your initial application. However, some PHAs only request verification when your family is selected for a voucher. In any case, you should be prepared to show documents for each person in your household. Learn more about the documents you will need by reading our Section 8 guide here.

PHAs can also check your Section 8 housing eligibility by contacting banks, employers and other organizations directly. You usually need to sign a consent form allowing the housing authority to verify your information. Not providing your consent may make your family ineligible for assistance.

Which Washington Section 8 housing requirements do I have to meet?

If you meet the Section 8 requirements and receive a voucher, you will be responsible for finding a place to rent. The home you choose will be inspected by the PHA that issues your rental assistance. A housing authority will only approve a unit if it:

  • Is the appropriate size for your family.
  • Is rented at a fair rate.
  • Can pass a health and safety inspection.
  • Is owned by a landlord willing to take vouchers.

In some cases, the PHA will allow you to use your voucher where you currently live. However, your home will need to meet the same standards as any other unit.

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

If you are not able to meet the Section 8 requirements in Washington, the PHA will inform you in writing. Keep in mind that each housing authority is an independent organization. You might meet the requirements elsewhere if one PHA denies your application. Anytime you disagree with a PHA decision, you also have the right to request an appeal.

It is important to be aware that most PHAs have more than one type of housing assistance. The Section 8 income limits and other requirements may differ from those for other programs. Community groups and local charities may be able to provide assistance as well.