In 2020, researchers found over 580,000 people experienced homelessness—with or without shelter—in the United States. That's almost two out of every 1000 Americans.
To combat homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) runs the Section 8 voucher program.
The Section 8 program empowers low-income, no-income, elderly, and disabled Americans to afford safe, private housing. Qualifying individuals and families receive vouchers distributed by the PHA.
Once recipients have their vouchers, they are responsible for finding housing that meets PHA standards.
With the voucher, the PHA pays the majority of the cost of rent each month on the recipient's behalf. Then, the recipient only needs to pay the difference.
In this guide, learn how to qualify for Section 8 housing vouchers. Then, discover how to find eligible housing that meets your needs.
Who Qualifies For Section 8 Housing in Utah?
To qualify for a section 8 voucher, an individual or family's income must not surpass the low-income limits for your household size. The income limits for Salt Lake County start at $21,000 for an individual, then increase.
In addition, applicants must all be legal, documented residents of the United States. All applicants must pass a criminal background check. And, you can't have any unpaid rent or defaults in your rental history.
Once an applicant qualifies, you're placed on a waiting list. Disabled and elderly individuals get priority placement. This ensures that the benefits of Section 8 housing go to those who need them most, first.
As funds become available, you move up the list.
How to Find Safe, Qualifying Section 8 Housing
Once you have your Section 8 housing voucher, it's time to find a suitable home. While some families use Section 8 vouchers to become homeowners, it's far more common to use the vouchers to rent.
What percentage of the rent the voucher pays varies by the recipient's income.
Notes on Qualifying Housing
HUD sets caps on the maximum amount the voucher will cover each month. So, the housing you choose cannot exceed that cap.
Utah County explains the four qualifying factors for Section 8 homes. The housing:
- Must pass a quality inspection
- Must meet voucher payment standards
- Must not abide violence or drug use
- Must be the property of landlord who upholds Section 8 responsibilities
The Fair Housing Act sets standards for a home's construction and maintenance quality. Keep this in mind as you use these resources to find qualifying housing.
Find Housing Online
The best option is to find subsidized rental units online. There are official government resources, and there are housing directories. Housing directories like Zillow and Apartments.com let you search for your ideal home using filters.
To find home rentals that accept Section 8 vouchers, use key terms in the search bar. Zillow explains how to do this in a straightforward guide. You may also want to check the box for "income-restricted" homes.
Similar processes work for RedFin and Trulia. Apartments.com is a bit different. Fortunately, it, too, published a guide on how to filter for Section 8 qualifying homes.
The HUD Resource Locator is an effective tool that empowers you to find housing resources in your geographic region. It includes PHA, HUD, and local non-profit resources.
Another option is to visit your local Housing Authority's website. There are ten Housing Authority websites, listed by county, in the state of Utah.
Finally, you can get resources by email. Send an email requesting help to HUD-PIHRC@tngusa.net
Find Housing By Phone
To find housing by phone, call your local Housing Authority. If you live in Salt Lake City, the local number is (801) 487-2161.
You can also call a non-profit organization like Housing Connect. Housing Connect assists Section 8 voucher recipients and advocates on their behalf.
It's one of the best housing non-profits in Utah. To reach assistance, call (801) 284-4400
Find Your Home With WolfNest
At WolfNest, we welcome Section 8 recipients with open arms. If you're looking for qualifying housing, you might find exactly what you need right here. Explore our listings today.