Project Based Section 8

What is the Project Based Section 8 housing program?
Project Based Section 8 housing is a government-funded program that provides rental housing to low-income households in privately owned and managed rental units. The subsidy stays with the building; when you move out, you no longer have the rental assistance. Most units rental cost will be 30% of your household adjusted gross income. There may be a variety of housing types available through this program including single-family homes, townhomes, or apartments.

How does it work?
You apply to each individual property that participates in the program. Some units may be reserved for households that are elderly or disabled.  Often times you apply for a waiting list that may be several months long. Once you are selected from the waiting list, you may be offered a unit; however, there may be a limited number of available units to choose from.

Do I qualify?
To qualify you must fall within the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s required income limits for the program. Example of rent at 30% income: household with one full-time worker at $7.25/hour might pay $348 per month.

How do I apply?
You can search for these units right from HousingLink’s homepage.  Simply select rent = % income as the maximum rent amount, click Submit, and view the results to see project based Section 8 and public housing units. Keep in mind that waiting lists for Project Based Section 8 units can often be long or closed.

Is there anything that can keep me from getting into Project Based Section 8 units?
Ask the property manager what their screening criteria are, and if there are any issues that automatically disqualify prospective renters. They may conduct a credit, rental, and criminal history check for each adult that will be occupying the unit.

Other project-based programs operate in a similar manner, including: Section 202, Section 236, Section 515 for rural areas, and Section 811.