Can A Felon Get Section 8? 

 July 6, 2020

By  Ashley T

If you have a criminal record, specifically a felony conviction on your record, you may be wondering if you are eligible for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.

The short answer is, in most cases yes, you can still qualify for section 8 with a felony conviction on your criminal history.

However, there are a few specific felony convictions that will automatically disqualify an application.

A felony on its own does not automatically disqualify you from receiving Section 8 housing assistance.

If you have a felony, and feel that you do qualify, and meet the other Section 8 Housing Voucher Program requirements, you should still submit your application to the Public Housing Authority.

What felonies disqualify you from Section 8 and other federal subsidized housing?

There are two types of felonies that will automatically disqualify you from being approved for the Section 8 Housing Voucher Program.

With either of these felony convictions on your record, you are not able to be approved for Section 8 housing. Those felonies convictions are:

  1. Convictions for manufacturing meth in any type of federally managed housing.
  2.  A felony conviction as a lifetime sex offender, which requires a lifelong registration on the sex offender registry.

Local housing authorities will all have different felonies that they will disqualify applicants from section 8.

Most felonies that a PHA will disqualify for are drug related or violent crimes, and more commonly if the felony is less than 5 years old. Crimes or convictions that lead to an rental eviction are especially are heavily frowned upon by housing authorities.

Additionally, HUD, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, requires that felons that are applying for Section 8 are not eligible unless their felony conviction is greater than 5 years old. And a municipality, city or county, may have stricter requirements then others.

Some areas require that a felony conviction must be greater than 10 years old in order to potentially qualify for section 8. Also, leniency can be given to applicants with felonies when certain rehabilitation programs have been completed.

Please be aware that if you are not the primary Section 8 applicant, but you are on the housing program application as a family member, your criminal background will be considered.

Due to the fact that each Housing Authority operates differently it is best to reach out to your local public housing authority (PHA) to learn about their disqualifications regarding felonies and the local Section 8 housing application.

Can A Man Live With You on Section 8?

You have a boyfriend now, or want to get married, or maybe you just want your best friend who is a guy to move in. You live in Section 8 housing – is this allowed? The short answer is no.

The approved Section 8 Housing Voucher needs to be for all people that are living or planning to live within the Section 8 housing and receive the assistance voucher. There is one application for the “family unit.”

If you want to have your boyfriend, male friend, or new husband move in with you into your Section 8 qualified home, it is your responsibility to contact the housing authority, and update them on the increase in your family size and income.

Also, Section 8 has rules about visitors, so do not think that you can get around this by not “officially” having your boyfriend move in with you.

Visitors in Section 8 cannot stay for more than 14 days in a row, and no more than 21 days in a calendar year. You risk losing your Section 8 voucher if found out, and the responsibility to prove that the visitor is not living with you, is on you.

What Is the Website to Apply for Section 8?

Wouldn’t it be nice if it were so easy to apply for the Section 8 Housing Voucher Program, as just logging into a website and submitting your application?

According to HUD, you need to contact your local Public Housing Authority directly to obtain the application, and application information.

You can find your local Public Housing Authority for Section 8 by visiting HUD’s website. Once you contact the Public Housing Authority, they will help you determine eligibility, and give you an application.

Applications are of no cost to you, but are generally available by mail or in person at the housing authority. Be prepared when completing the application to submit all requested documents, such as proof of income and legal status.

About the author 

Ashley T

As a professional writer, I enjoy researching Benefit Programs and writing articles and guides that are easy to follow for those who are in need of assistance.

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  1. My problem is basically this I have already put in an application back in 2007 and even though I lived in the same address that was given on the application and even with the same phone number that was provided. I got put out in 2015 without ever getting an answer from anyone regarding my housing status. I still need this program and am wondering how I can find my original application and move forward with the processn of still using the program. Ant advice would be helpful and I will try to find a number to contac tjank you.

    Best Regards.
    Jennifer Wright

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Endeavor to visit the PHA office in which you initially submitted an application to check if it is possible to retrieve your old application or you might also need to start again depending on what the authorities tell you.

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