What will disqualify you from section 8?

There are a few things that will disqualify you from the section 8 program. These factors include a criminal record in your past, poor rental history, poor unit upkeep, and abuse of the program. You can also lose your Section 8 voucher for a variety of reasons and we’ll go over it more in this article. To qualify for section 8, you’ll have to be making less than 50% of your Area’s median income (AMI). You can go to this page and see where your income bracket lies for your city.

It’s important to note that each case is considered individually at the local HUD level so make sure to call them if you have any questions. The housing authority can identify one person and ask you to remove them from the household to continue to get the voucher.

Criminal History

If you are convicted of a crime you’ll be disqualified from section 8 and will lose your voucher if you’re already on the program. Most housing authorities set their own regulations for what criminal activity can be a reason for disqualification. Some examples of criminal activity that will most likely get you disqualified are drug activity, violent criminal activity, sexual assault, and domestic abuse.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse there are protections in place that’ll help you keep your voucher while removing the abuser.

Poor Rental History

If you have a poor rental history you may be disqualified for the section 8 program but this isn’t always a hard rule that HUD offices go by. This is written in law under the Obligations of Participants. Certain cities also have a responsibility agreement sent out to each person who receives the voucher, here’s an example. If you click on it you can see different points of agreement like:

  • I will get written approval before someone moves in with me
  • I understand the lease is a contract between the owner and myself and I will follow the rules of the lease
  • I can be terminated from Section 8 for violations of the lease
  • I must obtain approval from Section 8 and the landlord before I move

These rules don’t apply to every municipality but it’s a great resource to get an idea of you’re responsible if you’re taking advantage of the program. Once you sign the document, a copy will be shared with your landlord.

If you get an eviction notice, you are required to inform your local office about it. We all know evictions can happen for many reasons and it’s not always the fault of the tenant so as long as you’re letting your local office know about things like this and paying for your rent on time, you should be okay.

However, if you’re eviction notice is because of lease violations, you may be at risk. It’s important to always read your lease thoroughly and work with your landlord on any issues that may come up. Your landlord may report this to the HUD or may send over an eviction notice.

It’s also important to note that you must let the housing authority know before you plan to move into a unit and before you let the landlord know. Failure to do so can put your voucher at risk.

Abusing the Section 8 program

With all government programs, you can always expect a small margin of people to abuse the program or not follow the proper regulations. Many people lose their vouchers because they don’t provide the proper information to their local housing authority office or they allow people to live within their unit without reporting it.

The reason you’re not allowed to have additional people live with you for an extended period of time is that the HUD has to maintain certain quality standards to prevent overcrowing. The addition of new residents can also lead to an increase in household income. Changes like this have to be reported to ensure that you’re receiving the proper amount of assistance. As a reminder you’re still required to pay 30% of your household income towards your rent and the HUD will give you a voucher for the rest.

There are also legal implications to abusing the section 8 program. You’ll have a hearing where you’ll be able to present evidence and provide more information about your situation. If it’s a drug or alcohol issue, rehabilitation efforts can be shown to improve your case.

As always, we always recommend reaching out to your local housing authority office to see if you qualify for the Section 8 program.