Frequently Asked Questions II

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What Does It Mean When Your Section 8 Status Says Selected?

When you have been put on the waiting list, the status on your section 8 application may say ‘Selected’. It means that the PHA has accepted your application and you now have to wait to be added to the program. Having a ‘selected’ status, however, doesn’t mean you can’t still get disqualified.

You will have to make sure you keep the information on your application updated. This includes contact information and any changes to family size and income. While on the waiting list, the PHA will send you notices periodically to check that you are still interested in the program. Failure to respond to any of these notices in time will lead to the termination of your application.

Does Section 8 Check Your Bank Account?

The PHA may require you to present documents to show your bank accounts such as pay stubs and bank statements. You may need to do this at any point during the application process or even when you’ve started receiving benefits, as a way to verify your income level and that you’re reporting your income correctly. You will need to permit the PHA to do this by signing a consent document.
The amount of money you have saved in your bank account also counts as an asset. If however no income is generated from them, then they will not be included when estimating your yearly income. Note that interests generated from savings also count as income.

Can Section 8 Tenants Be Charged Late Fees?

Section 8 tenants can be charged late fees since they are considered as every other tenant living in the property. Nevertheless, landlords can only charge section 8 tenants late fees based on their own portion of the rent. If the portion of the rent that is late is that covered by the PHA, then you will not be charged late fees.
Landlords cannot evict tenants based on late fees, but they could deduct it from the security deposit and you could have a stained tenant record that could affect your current voucher or chances of getting another voucher in the future.

Does Section 8 Pay Security Deposits?

The section 8 voucher does not factor in security deposits. It is solely your responsibility as a tenant to pay the security deposit and any other moving-in deposits. If you’re unable to afford the security deposit yourself, you may be able to get assistance from non-profits or local charities. You may also be able to find a unit that doesn’t require a security deposit. Just ensure you ask your PHA for available options.

The HUD Public Housing Program

It’s not uncommon to mistake the Public Housing program for the Section 8 program. Both programs are in place to provide affordable, safe, and good quality housing to eligible low-income, disabled and elderly families. They also have very similar eligibility requirements and application processes. Nevertheless, they differ in some ways.
While Section 8 is administered in form of a portable voucher, Public Housing is provided in different types and sizes of building projects, ranging from single-family houses to highrise apartments for elderly families.

What Happens if I Lose My Job While on Section 8?

If you lose your job while on section 8, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose your benefits. Your decrease in income may also result in a decrease in your rent portion. If you have no income at all, your contribution to the rent may be zero.
You must however ensure that you report the changes in your income to the PHA in due time, usually between five to thirty days depending on your area. Failure to report your loss of income will leave you still responsible for your former portion of the rent. And if you’re unable to pay your portion, you will get evicted.
You may not have to formally notify your landlord about the changes in your income as the PHA will always send a notification of the change in rent portions. It may be in your best interest though to ensure your landlord is aware in case of a delay in payment on the part of the PHA, especially if you lost your job close to the rental due date.

What Happens if You Inherit Money While on Section 8?

Inheriting money while on section 8, irrespective of the amount doesn’t affect your housing assistance payment in any way. Inheritance is not considered income so you don’t have to report any inheritance to the PHA. Nevertheless, if your inheritance yields income, it will count and the PHA will have to re-determine your income eligibility for the program.

Frequently Asked Questions
How to Apply for Public Housing