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Section 8

Section 8, how does it work?

Section 8

What is it?

Section 8 of the Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C.§1437f), often called Section 8, as repeatedly amended, authorizes the payment of rental housing assistance to private landlords on behalf of low-income households in the United States.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program provides “tenant-based” rental assistance, so a tenant can move from one unit of at least minimum housing quality to another.

Average Rent?

Voucher amounts are based on Fair Market Rents (FMRs) calculated in the area by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

In the Cleveland-Elyria, OH MSA area, which consists of the following counties: Cuyahoga County, OH; Geauga County, OH; Lake County, OH; Lorain County, OH; and Medina County, OH, the FMRs for 2020 are as follows:

  1. 1 bedroom: $691

  2. 2 bedroom: $849

  3. 3 bedroom: $1,119

  4. 4 bedroom: $1,174

Who is eligible?

Tenant eligibility is based on the total annual gross income (it may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live) and family size and it is limited to US citizens.

By law, a PHA must provide 75 percent of its vouchers to applicants whose incomes do not exceed 30% of the median income for the area.

If the PHA determines that your family is eligible, you will be added to a waiting list.

How does it work?

It’s the family itself that chooses the residence. Once a voucher tenant reaches an agreement with the landlord over the lease terms for the unit that they wish to rent, the PHA must first inspect the residence and determine wether the rent is reasonable.

There’s no limit to the amount of rent a landlord may charge or the family may pay.

The families must pay 30% of their monthly adjusted gross income for rent and utilities. The difference is up to the PHA. If the unit rent is greater than the payment standard for the local market, the family is required to pay the additional amount. The family can never pay more than 40 percent of its adjusted monthly income.

The lease must be at least one year long for the first year, then it can even be month to month.

The dwelling will be inspected once a year by the authority to check that it meets the minimum housing quality standards for participation in the program.

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