General Question

anniereborn's avatar

Have you or anyone you know well used Section 8 housing vouchers?

Asked by anniereborn (14754points) 1 week ago

If so, I would love to know your experiences. How long did you have to wait after applying? How long did you have to find a place once you were approved? Was it hard to find a place that accepted section 8? What were the places like that did? Did you end up living in one? What was that like?

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33 Answers

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seawulf575's avatar

Many years ago I dated a girl that had Section 8 housing. I’m not sure how long it took her to get approved, but I’m pretty sure it took about as long as it took her to get onto welfare. She was a lucky one in that she found someone that was willing to accept Sect 8. The number of people that would accept it were slowly, and then more rapidly, evaporating. The house she lived in was okay. It wasn’t a mansion by any means, but it was in decent shape and had a yard and was on a quiet side street.

janbb's avatar

There was Section 8 housing in my neighborhood that looked fine and a friend was a Section 8 social worker but I don’t know how long the process took.

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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I received Section 8 housing assistance for more than 5 years and gave it up when I returned to work. I loved the program.

It took 3 years from the time I applied to receiving the award. That was a very quick time from others I’ve heard about. I do not remember how long the window was from award to requiring me to find a property. I lived in a rural area with high poverty, and many landlords were amenable to renting to a Section 8 recipient. Also, I’m white and male and present as very stable. I cannot speak as a person of color or female.

There was a wide range of properties available to look at. Many were in need of updating. However, all were safe. The program requirements make sure the property is structurally sound and free of notable hazards.

I lived in the same small house for 5 years. I had problems with the landlord and repairs, but they were minor repairs. The house was inspected annually, and all major repairs were addressed at that time. The feds had real authority to require repairs be completed quickly.

Whoever is applying, I wish them all the luck to have as positive an experience as I did.

anniereborn's avatar

I sure hope I don’t have to wait three years. I don’t know where I will end up.

JLeslie's avatar

I have heard it takes several years after applying as jellies said above. I don’t know anyone who used it (that I know of) but I knew someone who owned section 8 houses. They were nice houses. I think the housing varies quite a bit.

filmfann's avatar

When I met my wife, she was living in a section 8 residence. She hated it, and her welfare worker made her life miserable.

anniereborn's avatar

@filmfann What did she hate about it?

jca2's avatar

I used to work for Section 8. I can tell you that the list for vouchers is a living thing, because priority goes to people who are homeless, in shelters. Therefore, since people are always going to shelters, they get priority and are always moving out of the shelters. Whatever vouchers are left go to everyone else. That’s why people will be on the list for a very long time, and there’s no way to predict how long it will take.

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filmfann's avatar

@anniereborn My wife thought it was slummy.

anniereborn's avatar

@jca2 Thank you for that information. The county I live in has started doing lotteries. Not sure exactly how that works. But, I am guessing that’s for the people left after those that are homeless. I have no idea what type of homeless population there is in my county.

anniereborn's avatar

@filmfann Where I live now would surely be considered slummy by many. But there is still plenty I like about it.

jca2's avatar

@anniereborn: It’s homeless in shelters which also includes DV shelters.

janbb's avatar

@anniereborn It sounds like the sooner you apply, the better.

jca2's avatar

@anniereborn: Also, if you have any other qualifiers like being a veteran or being disabled, that will help you move up higher on the list.

SnipSnip's avatar

Just make an appointment and go talk to the housing people. Most likely you’ll have to wait up to three years just waiting for them to even open up for applications. I helped many people acquire subsidized housing when I was working. It’s run differently in each jurisdiction meaning each city and county probably has its own housing office and they cover strictly boundaried areas. Generally apartment complexes may offer a set number of units to accept the vouchers or they may accept them for the whole complex. The amount of the voucher isn’t impacted by the retail rent…..the higher the retail rent the higher you will pay for rent. Housing can give you a list of all rentals units that accept the vouchers.

anniereborn's avatar

I did apply for one county near me that said the waiting list was open. I applied online, so not too sure when or if I will ever know anything.The county I currently live in does the “lottery”. I have an application, it needs to be in by the end of this month for that. Honestly, I am not ready to leave the house Darth and I shared. So if by some miracle my named got picked, I just couldn’t do it for many reasons. My main systems of support are not going to be able to be there for me until probably October or November.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I was receiving Section 8 up until 6 years ago, and the amount I paid was based on my income from disability. The government paid the rest of my rent. It was not a set amount.

anniereborn's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Yes, that is how I understand it as well. I am on disability as well.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@anniereborn If I remember correctly, you will pay 30% of your income for the rent, and the government pays the rest.

jca2's avatar

@SnipSnip: You are incorrect and @Hawaii_Jake is correct. The amount the tenant pays for rent is never more than 30% of their income.

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SnipSnip's avatar

@jca2 My statement is absolutely correct. You will not pay the same for a $500 apartment as you will for an $800 apartment. Don’t be silly. You will pay the difference between retail rent and your housing voucher. I said nothing about percentage of income.

jca2's avatar

@SnipSnip I have the feeling that you and I (and @Hawaii_Jake) are either misunderstanding each other or are talking about two different things.

anniereborn's avatar

@SnipSnip I believe there are rent amount “limits” that say a one person household can rent. If you go beyond whatever that is, you pay the 30 percent of your income AND make up that difference.

raum's avatar

My parents qualified for Section 8 when we were little. My understanding of the process is pretty limited though, since I was just a kid.

Just the general understanding that it took a long time and required lots of paperwork.

We lived in good neighborhoods and bad neighborhoods. So it seems there’s quite a range of housing.

Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful. But wishing you good luck during your housing process. :)

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