The numbers don't lie: a startling 2.1 million Americans live in Section 8 housing. It's a worthwhile program that provides affordable housing to 2.8% of Americans through rental and housing subsidies.
The truth is-- dealing with Section 8 housing is not that much different from other types of tenants. What's better? You'll get reimbursed on time, and your properties may rent faster.
Keep reading to learn more about how to get involved as a Section 8 landlord.
What is Section 8 Housing?
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is responsible for providing funds to local housing agencies. These housing agencies issue vouchers to qualifying renters. These vouchers are available to low-income individuals and families who are U.S. citizens or in a specified category of noncitizens, and whose income does not exceed 50% of the median income in the area where they live.
The law that allows this system allocates taxpayer funding to improve the shortage of affordable housing for low-income families, low-income elderly, and disabled tenants.
Once a Section 8-qualified renter signs a lease at an approved residence, the PHA pays a portion of the rent directly to the landlord or property manager, effectively subsidizing the rental cost for the tenant.
Benefits of Section-8 Participation for Landlords
Skeptical about the benefits of Section 8 vouchers? The program might be the right fit if you consider the following:
- Reliable monthly payments - always receive the PHA’s portion of the rent on time
- Receive pre-screened rental applicants
- See a wider pool of applicants who can now afford your property
- Increased visibility by applicants
If you feel like the pros outweigh the cons here, great! Get started on your landlord application.
How To Get Started
First, complete an application with the housing authority and provide any requested personal information. The housing authority will review your rental rates to make sure they're reasonable for the location, and inspect your property to make sure it's up to code.
Once you pass the screening process and have found an eligible Section 8 renter, you will need to collect and submit the following documents in order to be reimbursed:
- Landlord Information form - describes the property owner and rental unit
- Housing Assistance Payments Contract form
- A copy of your standard lease agreement
- The HUD form’s Lease Addendum
- Request for Tenancy Approval form
- W-9 form with the renter’s information
On the same date every month, the housing authority will mail you a portion of the rent. Your tenant will pay you the rest.
Consider the Possibilities
Break the stigma of Section 8 housing. As a landlord participating in the Section 8 program, you can demonstrate an elevated type of empathy toward those who need additional assistance toward securing safe and affordable housing.
Need more advice? Check out the owner resources on the Precision Realty and Management blog. Let your advice come from a property management company you can finally trust.