Things You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing
Some families might find a safe, decent and affordable housing as a big challenge to tackle. Majority of regions in the United States do not have rent control laws in place. Therefore some renters find affording a private rental in a good location a distant dream. The result forces a large number of families to live in substandard houses and also inhabit high crime areas. Section 8 is an innovative program launched by the U.S. Government to combat this malady faced by a large number of families. This program aims to help the low income families, the disabled and the senior citizens to be able to afford the cost of housing. The program also gives out incentives to the landlords who come forward to work with the local housing authorities.
Aspects of Section 8
Section 8 provides a comprehensive help to the low-income families, seniors and disabled to get affordable and safe housing outside the purview of the public housing system. The traditional housing assistance programs presented only a few housing options and the renters were forced to live in public housing projects and also inhabit only rough neighborhoods. The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program gives a housing voucher for the tenants, which they can use for any house qualified for the section 8 program, privately owned apartment or a townhouse.
In order to work with Section 8 program, the landlords must be approved by the local housing authority. The requirements to qualify as a Section 8 housing landlord differ between different regions. Those applicants who are approved have to be on a waiting list unless housing is available immediately.
The ultimate objective of the public housing agencies is to give preference to families that are homeless and seen occupying substandard houses. The families that are displaced involuntarily as well as those that pay more than half of their income towards rent will also be considered. The contracts are signed between the landlords, tenants and the public housing agency. The contract specifies the roles and responsibilities of every party concerned.
Understanding the working of Section 8
Year on year the federal government gives grants to every state to cover the costs of housing assistance programs. A part of this funding is used by the states to cover the cost of running the section 8 Program and also to pay a part of the tenant’s rents and utility costs. Most commonly, the housing authority will bear about 705 of the tenant’s costs.
For instance, consider a tenant covered by Section 8 program confronts a monthly rent of $700 and an average of $150 a month towards utility expenses. The ratio of 70% works out to $630 per month of the tenant’s living costs. This amount will be shared between the landlord and the utility company. The remaining 30% will only have to be borne by the tenant.
Advantages of the Section 8 Housing Assistance Program
Though there are arguments favoring and opposing the Section 8 housing assistance program, this program has a number of advantages.
Reduction in poverty rates
With the escalating costs of finding an apartment for rent a good number of families is finding it difficult to bear the rental expenses and are also forced to spend the majority of their earnings on rent. The Section 8 program is primarily targeted to assist the low income families in stretching a bit more and manage within their budget. The program is ultimately geared towards assisting the families in climbing out of the poverty line. The result is a significant reduction in the poverty rates across the country.
Minimizing crime rates
Some segments of the public housing facilities particularly those that are located in the urban areas are seen breeding crimes more than the other segments. When the program helps the families move to privately owned rentals, they escape out of the danger zones which results in the reduction of the overall crime rates.
Enhancing the opportunities for families
Those families that are covered b Section 8 programs are able to move into areas and neighborhoods that are equipped with better living conditions, educational and job opportunities that help them improve their overall condition.
What some experts say about section 8 program
It is said that the Section 8 program is benefiting both the tenants as well as landlords. The housing choice vouchers given by the program enables the underprivileged families to get housing facilities in areas that they would not have been able to afford otherwise. The saving they do with this arrangement lets them make use of to pay for their other needs. Also, the landlords now have more tenants to choose from and find it much easier to rent their properties.