Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What is Emergency Section 8 Housing?

Townhomes located at 6th and G Street, SW in t...
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If you are going to apply for emergency Section 8 housing, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, you need to follow specific steps as making mistakes can cause problems. In fact, one of the reasons why applications get held up has to do with mistakes with the process. 

Find the Local PHA


The first thing you should do is look for the local public housing authority (PHA) in the city you are living in or plan to live in. If you do not have access to the Internet, you can look in the yellow pages for the federal or local HUD (Housing and Urban Development). If you have not yet made up your mind as to which state to go to, then go to the federal HUD website and choose one of the states there.

Once you have made up your mind and decided on the HUD, you need to check if the HUD offers special treatment or preferential treatment. Local HUDs usually have priorities; for instance, some HUDs will give preference to families and individuals that are homeless, victims of domestic violence, have small children, live in substandard homes, and paying more than 50% of their monthly earning for rent.

Other circumstances that might lead to preferential treatment are being forced out of your former home due to a natural disaster, government action, fire and other reasons that are beyond the control of the tenants.

If your family falls in any of these circumstances, then you can expect to get some sort of preferential treatment. In all likelihood you will be moved up from the waiting list increasing your chances of getting the next available voucher.

Section 8 Apartments and Vouchers


While you are on the website of your local HUD, you can find a list of apartments and houses that are under the Section 8 program. You can search by state, city, county or enter your zip code. In addition, you can search for units that allow animals, designed for the elderly or disabled as well as by the number of bedrooms.

Of course before you can take part in the Section 8 program, you have to get a Housing Choice Voucher or Section 8 form. You can obtain this from the HUD website or your local PHA. It is very important that the form is filled with the correct formation. For this reason, you need to read the form carefully.

You can fill the form up online or by getting one from the main office. After you have completed the form you just need to submit it. Before you do, make sure you have all the pertinent documents and IDs required by the government. 

Wait for the Response


The next step is to wait for the response. If it seems to be taking a long time, you can get a status update by calling your local housing agency. As stated earlier, under special circumstances, preferential treatment will be afforded under certain conditions. If you do not fall under any of those categories, you may have to wait several months to get a voucher.

If you are approved, you will receive a voucher. This is what you will use for the rent agreement between you and the apartment you chose. Aside from your agreement with landlord, the property owner will also sign an agreement with HUD.

Bio: Eric Morgan is a freelance writer with more than 16 years experience writing and researching the government housing program. Aside from writing, Morgan is also a part time photographer and baseball enthusiast. He is presently living in Beltsville, Maryland. He also writes for http://www.section8application.org/


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