Section 8 Disqualifications

A Section 8 application is the first step toward gaining housing assistance. Recently, the government changed Section 8 terminology to the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP). This program provides government assistance to extremely-low-income-earning families. The HCVP allows families to afford safe and sanitary housing. There are many types of housing available, depending on the state and city in which you live. This can include single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. Each HCVP program is administered by your local Public Housing Agency (PHA).

In many cases, landlords have agreed accept Section 8 housing application paperwork from tenants. In this case, the family only pays the difference between the actual rent and amount subsidized by the HCVP. Certain requirements must be met in order to receive low-income housing. This is based on annual gross income. In addition, when individuals complete a Section 8 housing application, they could still be denied, even with appropriate income requirements. This includes individuals who are convicted of drug-related and violent crimes and more. Learn about Section 8 application denial, as well as finding alternative housing for felons, in the sections outlined below. 

About the Section 8 Application Process

A Section 8 application provides safe housing for poor individuals. It is a crucial resource across the nation for safe and sanitary living arrangements for those who cannot otherwise afford a place to live. Given this scarce benefit, there are specific rules to which each applicant must adhere, even if he or she currently lives in Section 8 housing. During the application process, the PHA collects certain financial and personal information, such as:

  • Financial family income.
  • Financial assets.
  • Family composition.
  • Employer and bank information.
  • Background check information completed within the Section 8 application form.

A Section 8 application form may be completed online, in person or through the mail. This will vary from county to county. In some cases, there is a long waiting list, which may cause your application to be put on hold. Check with your local PHA agency to determine the best way to apply. 

Also, inquire about the Section 8 housing application waitlist, as sometimes the PHA is not actively taking additional applicants. If you are on the waiting list, the PHA will contact you when a home is available. During the application process, be prepared to have the following information:

  • Photo identification for all household members
  • Proof of legal residents for all household members for Section 8 housing
  • Social Security verification for all household members
  • Verification of household income and assets

If you are awarded a Section 8 application approval, be prepared to continually follow up with the PHA while you are a resident. Most local PHAs request information like changes in employment, financial increases and any changes on the household residents. Rejections and denials can occur when completing a Section 8 application. 

Reasons Your Section 8 Application May Be Denied

Since there are more Section 8 applicants than housing available, the PHA has stringent rules on who is eligible. This is above and beyond the income bracket. You may be rejected if:

  • You are a registered sex offender.
  • You have been convicted of a drug related crime especially if living in assisted housing.
  • You have committed a violent crime.
  • You have committed other crimes that threaten the health and safety of Section 8 housing application residents.

The PHA also looks at prior convictions and arrests within the past five years. This also includes dismissals or expungements. The PHA carefully considers all circumstances for past convictions when making a determination to reject a Section 8 housing application. This is done on a case-by-case basis, and further documentation may be required.

What if my Section 8 application is denied?

If you are denied your Section 8 application, most PHA agencies offer a denial appeal process. You may request a hearing to further discuss your eligibility through this program. This is especially important if you are a current resident of Section 8 housing. If you are evicted, chances are you will not be able to apply for government housing assistance in the future. If you decide to file an appeal, you should prepare for the hearing by gathering the following documents:

  • Section 8 contract, if applicable
  • Repayment agreement
  • Damage claim
  • Lease contracts
  • Written complaints in witness statements
  • Police report or any other relevant documents

It may also be in your best interest to have a lawyer present. Depending on the information that is requested, a lawyer may be able to defend you in court.

Where can I find felony approved apartments near me?

You could be denied your Section 8 application, depending on your local PHA rules and regulations. If you cannot afford a place to live, there are other options to locating felony approved apartments. Most landlords do run criminal background checks on new residents. It is not considered unlawful for them to turn away an individual with a criminal background. This a standard industry practice to minimize landlord liability risk.

You may find available housing for felons, through careful research within your city or county. Some landlords will approve a rental application, regardless of background. They may also offer lower rent costs for individuals if you qualify for low-income payments. While each landlord is different in the way business is operated, continue to research locations for a rental unit.

By completing a quick search online, you may find reviews, as well as apartment complexes that will rent to individuals with a felony. You can search topics, like: 

  • “How do I find felon approved apartments near me?”
  • “Are there felon friendly apartments near me available for rent?”
  • “Apartments for rent felony friendly.”

Most times, a simple internet search will provide a list of accepting apartments and housing complexes for felons. You may also decide to reach out to your network of family and friends who can provide referrals and recommendations. These felony-approved apartments may require additional documentation. This may include employer information and individuals that can vouch for you.

It may be difficult, at first, to find appropriate housing for felons, however, you should still complete a Section 8 housing application. If denied, file an appeal. Chances are the PHA needs additional information to determine eligibility.