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How Long Does Section 8 Last? 3 Important Things To Understand

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Now that you’ve been approved for Section 8, can you lose your project-based voucher or pay more? Your income level and other qualifiers determine how long does Section 8 last assistance continues. You can lose it by failing to do several essential steps.

There are a few things to understand about Section housing requirements. We will cover what happens if your income increases and the consequences of not reporting it. We also go over the mistakes housing voucher holders make and the easy ways you can lose your Section 8.

If you are applying for Section 8, put your application in for your housing choice as soon as possible. It can take weeks, even months, to receive a voucher, and many housing authorities across the U.S. have closed their waiting lists.


How Long Does Section 8 Last?

Section 8 is a housing choice voucher program that assists low-income individuals and families by paying a portion of their rent directly to a landlord. The Section 8 public housing program is an affordable housing option.

The amount of rent assistance is dependent upon the household income. Most people pay no more than 40% of their total income on rent, while Section 8 covers the rest. People with no income are also eligible. All housing will fit the housing quality standard set by the state.  

There is no official limit on how long you can receive Section 8 housing. However, you still have to meet requirements to ensure you won’t disqualify from receiving assistance.

To be approved for Section 8 housing, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Meet income requirements
  • Meet other qualifiers set forth by the state

It is also possible to receive Section 8 even if you have been arrested or charged with a felony. Approval will ultimately be up to your caseworker, but most do not approve of domestic violence or sexual offenders.

How Long Section Assistance Continues

Navigating public housing requirements can be time-consuming and sometimes unclear. Let’s cover what happens to your Section 8 assistance if your income goes up, how often your income is reviewed, and how long you can be in the program.

If Your Income Goes Up

Most housing authorities require you to report a change in your income within ten business days. You may be worried that an income increase may disqualify you from the program completely, but this is not necessarily true.

Depending on how much your income has increased, you may have to pay more a month to cover your rent as your voucher amount decreases. If your income ever exceeds the income limit, you will be responsible for covering the entire rent amount.

The Public Housing Authority ensures that if you ever have to pay the total amount, it will be because you make enough to do so. The Public Housing Authority won’t force you to cover the full amount because your income has slightly increased.

How Often is My Income Reviewed?

Your caseworker will review your income once a year. You will receive an annual re-examination for housing assistance that you will need to fill out, stating any changes to your household and income.

Even if you don’t have any income, you will still need to fill out a “Zero Income Reporting” form. Your annual income examination will also require an inspection of your unit.

Make sure you report any changes in income and household makeup to your caseworker within ten days. Not promptly reporting changes can result in disqualification from the program.

How Long Can I Remain In the Rental Assistance Section Program?

There is no official amount of time you can receive rental assistance. As long as you continue to meet all the requirements, you can receive Section 8 as long as you want. You can also choose to end your Section 8 whenever you want, as well.

You can receive Section 8 even if you have no income, but you can’t make more than the limit for your household size. The more income your household makes, the more rent you will cover. Keep in mind that income like social security still needs to be reported.

How Can Someone Lose Their Section 8?

There are several ways you can lose your Section voucher and be removed from the program. Lying on your application or failing to disclose important information will disqualify you from the program. You can also lose your Section 8 if you commit a violent or drug-related crime while on Section 8.

You must also make sure you recertify every year and comply with inspections. They will check to see that the people listed on the application live in the unit. If you have someone living with you that is not on the application, you can be disqualified.

The easiest way to lose your Section 8 is by not paying your portion of the rent and utilities. If you get evicted while on Section 8, you may not be able to receive it again in the future, or you will have to wait for some time to re-submit an application.

Other Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about receiving Section 8.

How Long Do Section Voucher Holders Have To Find Housing?

Most housing authorities will give you 60 days to find a suitable house or apartment that accepts housing vouchers. Some housing authorities will provide you with a total of 90 to 120 days.

Once you find a place, the public housing agency will inspect to ensure that the home is up to housing quality standards and there are no safety hazards.

They will also check to see if there are enough bedrooms to accommodate everyone on your application if you are a low-income family.

Can You Lease a Car While on Section 8?

Yes, you can lease a car while on Section 8.

As long as all of your income has been reported and you have taken care of your portion of the rent and utilities, you can lease a car.

The annual recertification will ask about all of your assets, including vehicles.

Final Points

While it may be challenging to navigate the Section 8 program, it can be well worth the effort. The best thing you can do is be honest about your application and comply with all the tenant requirements to avoid disqualification.

Once you have been accepted into the program, you will need to find appropriate housing within 60 days. As long as you continue to meet the income criteria, you can receive Section 8 indefinitely.

If you are a felon looking for housing assistance, check out the housing tab on Felony Record Hub.

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