The Section 8 Program: A Quick Guide

The Section 8 Program: A Quick Guide

Are you needing to find affordable housing options?

Section 8 helps families and individuals get the home of their dreams while staying within their budget. If you qualify for Section 8 housing, you'll pay no more than 40% of your income toward your rent. 

Below, we'll go into everything you need to know about the Section 8 program. Keep reading if you're interested in seeing Section 8 explained!

Section 8 Eligibility

Not everyone in the United States can get Section 8 housing. There are a few main requirements for Section 8, which include your family status and income.

To qualify under your family status, you must have one of the following characteristics:

  • 1 or more individuals are over the age of 62
  • At least 1 individual has a disability
  • The family or individual has been displaced from their home due to the government, a natural disaster, or a federally-recognized catastrophe
  • The tenant lives in the house after all other family members, who were receiving Section 8, have relocated
  • A single person

It does not matter whether the family has children.

Only citizens and those with eligible immigrant status will receive Section 8 housing. People who have been evicted for drug-related charges, including meth production, will not get housing assistance.


Your income requirements will depend on where you live. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) oversees Section 8. HUD recognizes that different areas have different income brackets.

As a result, people in expensive areas, such as New York City, might make more than people in other parts of the country but still need Section 8 housing. So, the HUD has based Section 8 requirements on the median income of each location. Here are the 3 different income levels that qualify:

  1. Low income - Families that make 80% of the median income in the area
  2. Very low income - Families that make 50% of the median income in the area
  3. Extremely low income - Families that make 30% of the median income in the area


Those interested in applying for Section 8 housing must contact their local Public Housing Agency.

These are handled at the state level. To find which Public Housing Agency you should contact, check out this list.

Using Your Voucher

If you receive a Section 8 voucher, you can start looking for housing. To use your voucher, you're going to need to find housing options that accept it. 

Every city has Section 8 housing. In these homes, all illegal activity is prohibited.

Ready to Get a Place of Your Own?

Section 8 housing has cut down on the amount of homelessness in the United States and helped people raise their families in safe locations. 

If you're looking for a new place to live and aren't sure if you can afford it, look into Northern Virginia's Section 8 application. 

Do you want to find housing in the Northern Virginia region? We can help you find what you're looking for. Contact us today to learn more about our listings and other services!




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