Frequently Asked Questions

Affordable housing heroes

Can You Have a Roommate While on Section 8?

It’s possible to have a roommate while on section 8 under certain circumstances. The section 8 vouchers are made to cover an entire housing unit, and so if you decide to have a roommate, they must be also be included on the voucher.
To do this, the individual must qualify and go through the section 8 application process to be added as a member of the household. Under normal circumstances, the section 8 program doesn’t permit its beneficiaries to apply the voucher to just a single room in shared housing.

The conditions surrounding having a roommate while on section 8 are usually very specific and differ according to PHA. In some cases, only people with certain conditions such as a disability or old age are given exceptions to have a roommate.
You should contact your PHA to learn more about the rules surrounding having a roommate, along with the application process. Know that you could lose your housing assistance if you have a roommate who is not included in the voucher.

What Are the Benefits of Affordable Housing?

The benefits of affordable housing are numerous, and not just to the households, but the economy and society at large. Not having to worry about rent gives families the chance to focus on other necessities of life like healthy food, good healthcare, and education. This, in turn, leads to a healthier population and country as a whole. The affordable housing building projects also create job opportunities for people, thereby having a positive effect on the economy.

Can My Boyfriend Live With Me While on Section 8?

Your boyfriend can live with you while on section 8 if he is also eligible for the program in terms of citizenship, income, criminal record, and other requirements. He will have to provide documents such as a Social Security card, birth certificate, and income documentation to verify the information provided.
It may take some time for the PHA to approve the application to add him to your voucher, sometimes as long as thirty days. But you must make sure that he doesn’t move in until the PHA authorizes him to do so, else you may lose your voucher. You should also check with your landlord to ensure it is okay to have an additional tenant live with you.
Note that if you add your boyfriend to your section 8, the PHA will consider both of your incomes in determining the amount of money you get on your voucher. You could also lose your voucher if your income together is high enough to make your household exceed the income limit for the program.

Does Section 8 Look at Tax Returns?

Since a tax return form reports income and expenses, the PHA may request for it as a form of income verification. It serves as a way to verify the income you receive from different sources and estimate your income for the next few months.

What Is the Difference Between Social Housing and Affordable Housing?

Although both Social Housing and Affordable Housing aim at providing affordable, safe, and sound quality homes, there are some differences between them. While Social Housing is only available to households with very low incomes, Affordable Housing is also open to people with moderately low incomes struggling to afford basic living costs.
Households that qualify for Social Housing are usually at a very high risk of becoming homeless. Beneficiaries of Affordable Housing on the other hand may not be at the brink of homelessness but are usually unable to afford the market rent in the area they live.
People who qualify for Social Housing also qualify for Affordable Housing, but not everyone who qualifies for Affordable Housing may qualify for Social Housing.
Both programs are provided and managed by the government, but Social Housing may also be managed by non-profit organizations. The rent is determined differently and so is the tenancy agreement.

Section 8 Rules on Getting Married

There are certain important steps you have to take if you decide to get married while on section 8. First, you will have to inform the PHA of the changes to your household size. You will be required to provide information about your spouse and provide supporting documentation including your marriage certificate in some cases.
The PHA will then determine if your spouse qualifies to be added to the program, and re-evaluate your eligibility taking the changes in family size and income into consideration. This may result in you paying a higher amount of money for rent or losing your voucher entirely if your new income level exceeds the limit.
You should know that if you fail to report any changes in the size of your household to the PHA, you may lose your voucher.

Recertifying Your Section 8 Eligibility
Frequently Asked Questions II