Eligibility for Section 8 in Virginia


Section 8 eligibility in Virginia is largely determined by an applicant’s inability to afford safe and sanitary housing, but there are many other criteria involved. “What Is Section 8?” is a question many lower income Virginia residents may be currently asking themselves. “Do I qualify for Section 8 housing?” is likely the question that comes next. Section 8 refers to housing assistance paid for by the federal government, overseen nationally by HUD and distributed to communities in each of the 50 states by local public housing agencies (PHAs). In Virginia, the Section 8 program is sponsored and run by the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA). The goal of this initiative is to decrease the homeless population of Virginia and serve those residents that may not be able to afford other types of housing due to constraints caused by disability, poverty, illness or advanced age. Get answers to the question “What are the requirements for Section 8 in VA?” by reading the following sections.

Do I qualify for Section 8 housing in Virginia?

Section 8 eligibility in Virginia is established by the local PHA for the applicant’s chosen city and based largely on the size of the family combined with the family’s gross annual income. Those eligible for Section 8 in VA can use their housing choice vouchers to rent single family homes, townhomes or apartments. Section 8 housing is not limited to areas sponsored in subsidized housing units. However, to be in alignment with what are the qualifications for low income housing, all housing that is to be utilized under Section 8 must first pass a housing quality inspection that quantifies the abode’s safety, sanitation and decency features. Section 8 eligibility is limited to US citizens and a small branch of non-citizens that meet specified federal criteria in immigration status. Landlords do reserve the right to select the residents of their choice so long as they are not discriminating based on race, gender, religious doctrine or national origin. For more detailed explanations of Section 8 eligibility guidelines, you can download our comprehensive guide today.

What are the requirements for Section 8 in Virginia?

In order to be in keeping with the requirements for Section 8 in Virginia, a family’s annual income must be below the current income maximum for the program. Virginia has a three-tier program for determining VA Section 8 eligibility, with the majority of vouchers going to those determined most in need by this tiered income qualification measure. HUD publishes median income levels for every location and applicants can acquire a list of local income limits from the PHA of their chosen region.

Applicants seeking to qualify for Section 8 housing in Virginia should expect the VHDA to collect information from their employers and banks regarding the verity of details pertaining to family configuration, gross annual income, assets and any pertinent medical/health aspects of included family members. If it is then determined by the PHA that a family meets eligibility requirements for Section 8, unless housing is immediately available, the family will be placed on a Section 8 waiting list. When the family’s place on the list is reached, the family will be contacted directly by the PHA and a housing voucher for the area of choice will be issued. Families who meet the qualifications for low income housing must locate housing of their choice wherein the landlord agrees to the rental of the property under the guidelines of the program. The PHA pays the landlord a direct subsidy of the agreed-upon rental sum and the family is responsible for making up the difference. In accordance with the guidelines for Section 8 in VA, initial rental agreements cannot be shorter than one year in duration and it is the sole responsibility of the applicant to ensure that his or her part of the agreed-upon rental sum is delivered adequately and punctually to the landlord.

What do I need to apply for Section 8 in Virginia?

Before understanding how to apply for Section 8, it is important to understand required forms. The forms needed to apply for Section 8 housing are provided directly by the VHDA in various formats, and they contain detailed instructions. It is vital to be able to show proof of income, identification and residency. Anyone with a violent felony criminal record will be deemed automatically ineligible. Applicants who are deemed eligible for Section 8 housing at the higher end of the income spectrum need to be prepared to be waitlisted for extensive periods of time and very often wait lists will be temporarily shut down or suspended when the demand for housing exceeds the available resources for the foreseeable future. Find out all about applying for Section 8 eligibility in Virginia by downloading our complete guidebook.

Virginia Department of Housing & Urban Development