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How Much Money Can You Have In The Bank While On Section 8?

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Section 8 is the housing choice voucher program from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Section 8 is a form of government rent assistance that helps provide decent housing for those who cannot afford it themselves.

Section 8 housing came into existence in 1974, designed to ensure anyone earning low wages could still find suitable living environments outside of utilizing public housing options.

How much money can you have in the bank while on Section 8?

There are income requirements for anyone applying for Section 8, which means regulations concerning who may apply and how to apply.


How Much Money Can You Have in the Bank While on Section 8?

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is more concerned with what you don’t have in the bank than what you do have.

The HUD housing program was designed for low-income households, which usually equates to less than 80% of the area’s median income, depending on the area where you live (or want to live).

Rental assistance means you can still have a good lifestyle.

The government counts your assets, and your bank account is considered one of your assets.

However, the department will be more concerned with whether or not you earn any interest in your account.

The department won’t pay much attention to what you have in the bank if it’s less than $5000.

HUD will closely scrutinize any amount that totals or is more significant than $5000.

Since they determine eligibility by your assets, they need to track those amounts.

HUD housing is an option for affordable housing for anyone seeking to avoid low-income housing units.

The Eligibility Criterion for Section 8

Qualifying for Section 8 housing depends on multiple factors.

HUD will look at more than just your income level.

They will examine your family status, eviction history, and citizenship.

The government determines your eligibility for the housing assistance program through these parameters.

If you’re interested in learning whether or not you qualify as a Section 8 tenant, you can always contact local agencies.

They will look at things like household size and where you live to determine aid eligibility.

The size of your family may also play a role in the government’s decision.

Family Status Requirement

Every state has different expectations for Section 8 eligibility requirements, but a few remain somewhat constant throughout the country.

Family status requirements are included in that.

Family requirements must meet HUD’s definition of family, which means meeting at least one of these characteristics:

  • One family or household member older than 62
  • A family or household that has many members, not necessarily children
  • A displaced household, either by a natural disaster, physical damage, or government action
  • One household member with a documented disability

You may always qualify as a single person, even if you don’t meet any of the criteria outlined above.

Size of Family

Income limits for Section 8 eligibility correlate directly to the size of the family applying for HUD assistance.

The size of the family is related to the annual income limits.

If you have a more prominent family, you may still qualify for Section 8.

But the income requirements will change.

Different family sizes will have other income limits.

While there aren’t necessarily limits on how big a family can be to qualify for Section 8, different income limits are outlined for families of various sizes.

The family size includes anyone who lives in the household unit, apart from live-in aides.

Income Level Requirement

The primary focus of Section 8 is providing safe and sustainable housing for low-income earners.

That means that income levels are the most essential eligibility issues to address when thinking about your qualifications.

The income level and the household size directly correlate when HUD considers a Section 8 application.

Households are generally broken up into low-income, very low-income, and extremely low-income.

Low-income earners typically earn only 80% of the area’s median income.

Very low-income earners come up to 50%, and extremely low-income earners only earn up to 30% of the median income.

Priority to Extremely Low Income

HUD is constantly changing the income level percentages to account for market factors like inflation.

That means that the extremely low-income bracket, which means a household earns only 30% of the median income in the area, may change or fluctuate over time.

HUD gives priority to extremely low-income earners.

Since the government developed the Section 8 housing program to help extremely low-income households, it gives them the most attention in applications.

Since the government prioritizes extremely low-income earners, they scrutinize all household assets before offering assistance.

This process ensures they find the neediest first.

How Is a Family’s Income Calculated?

A family’s annual income is used to determine eligibility for the Section 8 housing program.

It is calculated by determining the monetary gain acquired by or on behalf of the family head.

The family’s income also includes any assets to which a family might have access or any amount earned regulations or alternative requirements do not expressly exclude that.

To determine a family’s eligibility for the Section 8 housing program, the annual income must be projected throughout a 12-month period.

Any income not yet received, but expected to be received, will be included in the calculation.

What Is the Maximum Income for Section 8?

As you have already seen, income requirements change based on the size of a family.

That means that the maximum income allowed for Section 8 housing might be higher in a family of 8 than 4 or 5.

The maximum income limit for a family of 5 is around $35,550.

However, a family of 6 has a maximum income of $38,200.

And a family of 8 has a maximum income of $43,450.

These annual income numbers would be more than sufficient to cover basic needs like housing for a single person.

However, it hardly equates to enough for a large family, which explains why the Department of HUD started the Section 8 housing program.

Do You Have to Meet All Requirements to Qualify for Section 8?

There are many different requirements for households applying for government housing assistance.

To qualify for Section 8 housing, you don’t have to meet every requirement.

The most important requirement is your income level.

Section 8 Bank Account Limit

Since the program was designed for low-income households, which usually equates to less than 80% of the median annual income for the area in which you live (or want to live), HUD will watch anything over that amount.

If what you have in the bank is less than $5000, you have nothing to worry about.

However, the department will be more concerned with whether or not you earn any interest in your account.

HUD will closely scrutinize any amount that totals or is greater than $5000.

Since they determine eligibility by your assets, they need to track those amounts.

Child Support and Income Reporting

If you receive child support while receiving Section 8 housing assistance, you are required to report it as income.

HUD includes child support payments as part of the annual income for a household, so reporting it to avoid infringing on the rules is essential.

You must also report regular monetary gifts or contributions that you receive.

Whether from an organization or from a person outside of your household, you are expected to report it all as part of your annual income amount.

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Lump-Sum Payouts as Assets

A lump-sum payout should not count as part of your annual income.

Most of the time, it shouldn’t even affect your program eligibility.

Since Section 8 housing programs don’t have asset limits, a lump sum payout will count as an asset and should not impact your eligibility.

Whether or not your lump sum payout counts as income will depend on the type of lump-sum payout your receive, however.

So make sure you’re familiar with the regulations before accepting any kind of lump-sum payout.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know more about what Section 8 housing is and who qualifies for it, let’s look at some of the frequently asked questions about HUD and its housing assistance program.

What happens if you inherit money while on Section 8?

Inheriting money while on Section 8 housing is a legitimate concern for anyone dependent on government assistance for rent.

While a one-time payout from an inheritance won’t affect your assistance, the government will count income inherited toward the household’s annual income.

Can Section 8 housing terminate assistance?

Yes, a housing authority may terminate assistance to a household or individual.

This termination usually happens due to misinformation or failure to report all requested information properly.

Can you finance a car while on Section 8?

Financing a car is perfectly acceptable under Section 8.

As long as it fits within your budget and you can fully explain why you can finance a vehicle despite needing Section 8 housing assistance, then you should have no issues.

Final Thoughts

Section 8 is a housing assistance program for low-income earners who need help paying for rent.

The government program offers assistance, giving priority to extremely low-income earners.

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