Section 8 Rental Program
“Section 8” is commonly known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program and is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This program assists very low-income families, the disabled, and the elderly to afford a safe environment in which to live. Participants of this program are free to choose any housing that meets the government’s requirements in the private market. They are not limited to only subsidized housing projects.
However, once a unit is selected by a family or individual and the parties reach an agreement with the landlord, it will need to be inspected. The dwelling is checked for safety and health concerns as well as to make sure the rent requested is reasonable.
Applicants must pay 30% of their adjusted gross income for rent and utilities, and they cannot pay more than 40%.
SMHP & Section 8
SMHP aims to assist families who are paying more than 30% of their adjusted gross income for rent and utilities. We pledge ourselves to the letter and spirit of the law of the Federal Government’s policy to achieve equal housing opportunities.
On average, we have over 1,000 vouchers to assist families in need in Haywood and Jackson Counties, and typically, 43% of those we help are elderly or disabled.
Once an applicant is approved, they are placed on a waiting list with our agency. We will contact the applicant when assistance is available.
Who is Eligible for Rental Assistance?
Everyone is encouraged to apply for rental assistance regardless of religion, race, national origin, color, sex, gender identity, disability, or family status. Rental Assistance is limited to United States citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status.
Fair Housing Rights & Obligations
It is illegal to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing, including against individuals seeking a mortgage or housing assistance, or in other housing-related activities. The Fair Housing Act prohibits this discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. A variety of other federal civil rights laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, prohibit discrimination in housing and community development programs and activities, particularly those that are assisted with HUD funding. These civil rights laws include obligations such as taking reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP) and taking appropriate steps to ensure effective communication with individuals with disabilities through the provision of appropriate auxiliary aids and services. Various federal fair housing and civil rights laws require HUD and its program participants to affirmatively further the purposes of the Fair Housing Act.
HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) works to eliminate housing discrimination and promote civil rights and economic opportunity through housing. FHEO enforces fair housing laws. One of its roles is to investigate complaints of housing discrimination. If you believe you have been discriminated against in violation of any of these federal fair housing laws, you can file a complaint with FHEO.
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