After Section 8 housing benefits become available to your household, it is your responsibility to find Section 8 apartments to rent. You can use Section 8 benefits at many different types of properties, including apartments, townhouses, and single-family homes.
A common question that seniors ask is, “Are Section 8 assisted living rentals available?” If an assisted living apartment is eligible for Section 8 housing, then benefits can be used towards rental costs. However, it is worth noting that benefits cannot be used towards additional services available in assisted living housing, such as meals or aid with daily tasks.
In addition to rental units, your family may qualify for the Section 8 home buying program. When the PHA homeownership program is available, benefits can be used towards the purchase of a home to help low-income families achieve homeownership. If you qualify for the program, you may also qualify for state and local low-income programs that help cover down payment and closing costs.
Once you find a Section 8 apartment, you will need to contact your PHA and follow their guidelines for setting up benefits. It is worth noting that you will still need to apply for the unit you wish to rent, just as you would without benefits. Landlords are still responsible for screening prospective tenants and approving or denying applicants based on factors like eviction history, employment, and creditworthiness.
However, landlords are not permitted to discriminate against Section 8 applicants. After your application has been accepted, the Public Housing Authority will conduct an inspection to ensure that the unit meets Section 8 requirements, also known as housing quality standards.
In most cases, the Section 8 housing program requires renters to have a fixed-term lease. Additionally, landlords are permitted to require a security deposit from any tenant, though maximum security deposit amounts vary by state and local laws. Landlords cannot impose rent increases during your lease period. However, they can submit a rental increase request to the PHA following the lease, so long as they provide both the PHA and your household with written notice.
While receiving Section 8 housing benefits, you must maintain your eligibility for benefits and meet all terms of your lease. Failing to do so can result in loss of eligibility and Section 8 benefits, and may prevent you from receiving aid again in the near future. Maintaining eligibility includes reporting any changes to your household or household income to your PHA in a timely manner.