The Ultimate Section 8 Housing Program Guide

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) welfare program that aids low-income families with the cost of housing. In doing so, the HUD ensures that the most vulnerable families and households within America have access to safe, decent and sanitary housing opportunities. While federally funded, the program is administered within local communities through Public Housing Agencies (PHAs). These agencies are located throughout each state and are responsible for determining the eligibility of applicants and distributing benefits. 

The Housing Choice Voucher Program is an income-based program that is only available to families and households with incomes that do not exceed 50 percent of their county or metropolitan area’s median income. However, Section 8 is legally required to provide at least 75 percent of all available vouchers to qualifying families with incomes that do not exceed 30 percent. In addition to income limits, applicants must meet citizenship/immigration status, rental history and family composition related eligibility requirements. 

The need for housing far exceeds the amount of funding available for the Section 8 program. For this reason, families who qualify for benefits may either receive housing assistance immediately or be placed upon a waiting list for when further funds become available. 

Qualifying for Government Grants

If you are part of a low-income household, you may qualify for free financial assistance through a government grant. Government grants are monetary awards that provided to qualifying applicants to serve a specific purpose, such as aid a student in receiving higher education, provide the necessary funds to complete a home repair that had been causing a health hazard or assist a disabled veteran in retaining their independence. 

So long as grants are used towards their intended purchase, government grants do not need to be repaid. However, if funds are ever misused, beneficiaries are required to repay the grant in full and the grant itself is converted to a loan. 

Government grants that are distributed to assist students with the cost of higher education may only be used towards tuition, housing and other education-related expenses. To qualify, a student has to have a low- to moderate-income, meet citizenship status requirements and meet academic-based qualifications. 

If you are a low-income senior citizen who requires home repairs or renovations, it is essential to learn more about the USDA Section 504 Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation program. This program provides sizable grants towards the cost of renovations and repairs that are necessary for disability access or to remove a health or safety hazard. To qualify for Section 504, you must have low income, meet age-based eligibility requirements and your home repair or renovation project must be eligible for the grant program. 

Finally, if you are a veteran with a service-connected disability, you may be eligible for grant assistance from the VA. VA housing grants aid qualifying veterans in retaining independence. Grants may be used towards the renovation of an existing home to accommodate a disability or towards the purchase of a home. To be eligible for a VA grant, you must be a veteran with a qualifying service-connected disability and you must be able to meet discharge status requirements. 

Now that you have downloaded our informative guide, you will gain access to a vast amount of information and resources for programs that you may qualify for. Our team of experts has compiled this information to provide to you over the next few days. Therefore, you must keep an eye on your inbox. Additionally, you can review additional information on other resources that may be available to you within the sections that have been provided below. Here, you have the opportunity to learn about government grant programs, discounted services, affordable health insurance opportunities, HUD loans and more.

Obtaining Affordable Health Insurance

While purchasing cheap health insurance may feel impossible when you have little to no income, there may be several health insurance opportunities available to you. Available health care opportunities will depend on several factors, including the state you live within and your income, family composition, age and more. By learning more about the cheap health insurance options within your community, you will gain the opportunity to determine whether or not you qualify for coverage. 

Medicaid is a federal health insurance program that provides access to affordable health care to millions of low-income Americans each year. Medicaid beneficiaries receive health insurance at little to no charge based upon their state Medicaid program. Like most assistance programs, Medicaid is an income-based program, so you will need to meet income guidelines to receive benefits. Other qualifications for Medicaid include citizenship and immigration status requirements and, in some states, categorical requirements. 

While not an income-based program, Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides comprehensive coverage options to senior citizens and certain disabled individuals. The program allows participants to build their own Medicare policy by selecting the “Parts” of Medicare that they would like to have included within their plan. Those eligible for Medicare may also qualify for Medicaid (based upon income), which would then reduce or eliminate the cost of Medicare. 

You can view all of your health insurance quotes by completing an application on the Health Insurance Marketplace. After providing your personal information, the Marketplace will automatically notify you if you may be eligible for a program like Medicaid or Medicare. 

Your Health Insurance Marketplace quotes will be based upon several factors, including your income. If you are low-income, premium amounts will automatically be reduced with applicable tax credits. However, tax credits are not applied to other fees, such as coinsurance and copayment amounts, so it is essential to review each option carefully. 

Reduce Your Monthly Expenses With Discounted Services

Finding cheap cable and internet will require you to research your local providers to determine which provider offers the best price for the home services that you need. In many cases, you may need to consider a contract to further reduce your bill and lock in a lower price for a predetermined amount of time. If you already have services, you may be able to obtain cheap cable TV for low income by reviewing your bill, ridding yourself of additional services and changing your TV package to a lower-tier package.  

If you need low income car insurance, it is important to review your current policy as well as compare prices with other insurance providers within your area to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. When reviewing your policy, it is essential that you look for any additional services that you are being charged for and whether or not you are receiving the correct amount of coverage that you need. It is not uncommon for a policy to include coverage limits that are far higher than what you will likely need. To ensure you have the best price possible, contact your insurer to explore any additional discounts that you may qualify for, such as a multi-policy or defensive driving discount. 

Low income home loans provide low-income families the opportunity to become homeowners, even if applicants have poor credit scores. Government loan programs can assist families in qualifying for a mortgage as these programs reduce eligibility requirements and often reduce or eliminate the need for a down payment. 

You may be eligible for a government home loan program through one of several government entities, including the USDA, HUD, FHA and VA. Each loan program provides a different level of assistance, benefits and has its own eligibility requirements that must be met. 

Finding Your Credit Score and Full Credit Report

If you have ever applied for a loan or any other type of credit, you have likely heard of a credit score. A credit score is composed of three numbers and, based upon information included with your credit report, your score indicates whether you are a risky or safe customer for lenders. 

For that reason, your credit score will determine whether or not you are approved for any type of loan or financing as well as the interest rates that you may be offered by lenders. Information found on your report that will factor into your score includes: 

  • Payment history. You can find your payment histories for most, if not all, of your debts in your credit report. If you have any late payments or if an account is in default, that information can be viewed by potential lenders. 
  • Credit utilization. Your credit utilization is the percentage of the money you owe compared to your total credit. 
  • Age of credit. Your age of credit is the amount of time that your credit accounts have been established. 
  • Type of credit. Multiple types of credit can appear on your credit report, including mortgages, credit cards and auto loans. 
  • Hard inquiries. Hard inquiries appear when a company, such as a financial institution, reviews your credit report. 

You can obtain a credit history report (and score) through any of the three major credit bureaus or through credit monitoring websites, such as nerdwallet.com or creditkarma.com. You are also entitled to one free report from a major credit bureau once per year. 

Becoming a Homeowner With HUD Loans

HUD home loans programs, such as FHA loans, offer low-income households the opportunity to become homeowners by reducing mortgage eligibility requirements and providing additional incentives, such as reduced closing costs and lowered down payment requirements. These programs allow you to get qualified for a home loan with bad credit or limited income without having to accept a high, variable interest rate. You may be able to find bad credit home loans outside of federal programs. However, it is strongly recommended that you always review the interest rates on these loans. 

While federal loan programs can be used to obtain a mortgage for most home purchases, you will be required to find a lender that is approved for the program. Additionally, if you are considering a HUD home loan application, you must find a lender that has been approved by the HUD for the purchase of HUD homes. 

HUD homes offer an even more excellent opportunity to low-income families as these homes are often priced below their market value to obtain a quick sale. HUD homes are homes that were previously foreclosed upon that had been purchased through an FHA loan. 

Mortgage loans for HUD homes are not provided directly by the HUD. However, most loan programs, including federal programs, can be applied to HUD homes. If you are a teacher (K-12) or a first responder, you can save even more on HUD home purchases with the HUD’s with the Good Neighbor Next Door program. Through this program, qualifying teachers and first responders can save up to 50 percent on the price of a HUD home.