The Section 8 Housing Act

The Section 8 housing action is more formally referred to as the Housing Choice Voucher Program. It was authorized under Section 8 of the U.S. Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. It’s aimed at procuring housing for low-income households as well as people. The two HUD (the Department of Housing and Urban Development) and the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) have particular Section 8 programs meant to get home vouchers to veterans who are homeless or vulnerable.


Government-backed housing plans go back to the Great Depression of the 1930s. Back then, the issue was a housing crisis. Great numbers of people found themselves without work or a means to afford housing. The government renewed its attempts in the 1960s. Programs at the time were created to help with the construction of low-income home. The 1970s saw a shift toward subsidizing rents rather than building home projects.

Types of Programs

The first 1974 law comprising the Section 8 application comprised three separate sub-programs inside that section, which dealt with brand-new structure of low-income home. They also addressed substantial rehabilitation of such housing as well as getting qualified people into existing habitable home. Later additions to Section 8 comprised the actual voucher program that subsidized rents. It was added into the authorities in 1983. The voucher program is currently the main program within Section 8.

The Voucher Program

Subsidies for rent have always been part of Section 8, and Congress has taken good care to renew them whenever required. Under the program, eligible voucher recipients pay as much as 30% of their income for rent. The rest comes from federal dollars appropriated for these voucher programs. Vouchers can also be handled by municipal public housing authorities, or PHAs. All these PHAs follow regulations issued by national housing agencies like HUD.

Types of Vouchers

Section 8 vouchers come in two different types. The first is reserved to be used in specific apartment complexes managed by PHAs. They are referred to as project-based vouchers. The next are tenant-based, and they can be used anywhere in the private sector the tenant can find a landlord willing to take them. No private landlord is obligated to accept Section 8 vouchers.

Section 8 Asset Test

HUD looks at a Section 8 applicant’s earned income after making a decision of eligibility. The agency looks at bank accounts and any attention from these accounts in arriving at an income figure. This can sometimes increase the applicant’s share of the rent paid to your landlord or apartment complex. HUD also uses a reasonable market rent (FMR) standard. Landlords accepting Section 8 vouchers can not charge more than the FMR to the area.

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