Low Income Housing Options: Section 8 Housing

Section 8 Housing is one of the low income housing options offered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (usually referred to as HUD) to individuals and family groups who cannot afford buying their own house and that even find it difficult to pay their monthly rent. Passed in the late 1930’s, at present authorizes the payment of rental housing assistance to private landlords on behalf of over 3 million people with meager salaries. It also enables building owners to devote all or part of the units to people in need as they are going to be economically compensated by the Government.

When it was first launched in 1937, the Section 8 Housing program included three different sub programs: Substantial Rehabilitation, New Construction and Existing Housing Certificate. Over time, these programs were expanded, suspended, modified and others were introduced in order to satisfy the changing low income housing needs of American people. At present, most people under the Section 8 Housing program are part of the voucher program. Vouchers can be either project based or tenant based. The former can only be used with certain building complexes while the latter allows the tenant to choose in which unit he wants to live within the private sector without any kind of restriction.

It is worth knowing that all housing units, whether project based or tenant based, need to comply with certain requirements in order to be accepted by the HUD. These requirements are mostly related to ensuring that the individual or his family group have a proper and safe low income housing place where to live. Home owners have a divided opinion as regards this program. Some of them are willing and eager to allow people with meager incomes to rent their units while others are quite reluctant as they do not want the government to interfere in their business.