Frequently Asked Other Housing Progams Questions

What does an income limit mean?

The income limit for an affordable housing program is the maximum amount of income a household can earn to qualify to receive assistance.

The specific figure is based on the city or county's Area Median Income (AMI), and is adjusted depending on how many persons live in the household (including children). Income qualification is generally separated into three main tiers: Low Income (80% AMI), Very Low Income (50% AMI), and Extremely Low Income (30% AMI). However, the number of tiers used and percentage of AMI used for qualification varies by each housing program. The required income limits for a waiting list may be found online on a public notice for a waiting list opening, or the housing authority or apartment community's website. If income limit information cannot be found, contact the appropriate housing authority or apartment community. Scroll up to the search bar on the top of this page to find contact information.

A household's income is calculated by its gross income, which is the total income received before making subtractions for taxes and other deductions. When applying for any HUD affordable housing program, there are certain means of income that do not have to be reported. Required income inclusions and exclusions for HUD programs can be found here.

Can I be evicted if my HUD apartment is sold?

If a Project Based Section 8 apartment community is sold and the new owner decides not to renew the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract with HUD, they can permanently relocate residents. However, under the federal Uniform Relocation Act (URA), Project-Based Section 8 tenants receive certain protections including relocation advisory services, extended relocation notice requirements, moving expense reimbursement and substantial payments to cover the increased costs of replacement housing.

According to Relocation Assistance To Tenants Displaced From Their Homes (HUD-1042-CPD), HUD booklet for displaced tenants, if a tenant is notified they will be displaced, "it is important that you do not move before you learn what you must do to receive the relocation payments and other assistance to which you are entitled."

The benefits displaced tenants are entitled to are:

  • Extended move out notice. You are not required to move without at least 90 days advance written notice. The written notice must identify at least one comparable rental property available to you and the earliest date by which you must move.
  • Relocation advisory services. Counseling services that include referrals to comparable replacement housing, inspection of replacement housing to ensure it meets established standards, claim for preparation assistance, and other counseling to minimize the cost and impact of the move.
  • Moving Expense Payment. Payment of actual moving expense and/or a fixed moving expense and dislocation allowance.
  • Allowance for Replacement Housing. To provide a renter with the financial resources needed to find replacement housing, the tenant is entitled to relocation assistance payments to buy or rent replacement housing. The URA entitles displaced renters to rental assistance for a 42 month period following displacement. The amount of monthly assistance is determined by subtracting 30% of a low-income tenant's monthly income from the monthly rent payment for the replacement housing. For example, if a displaced Section 8 tenant earns $500 per month and replacement housing costs $800 per month, for 42 months, the tenant would receive $650 per month for 42 months, $800 (the new rent) minus $150 (30% of monthly income).

To receive these benefits, a displaced tenant must file a claim.

Relocation regulations and the benefits tenants are entitled to are complicated. Many purchasers of Project-Based Section 8 properties are either inexperienced with the program and its requirements or choose to ignore them. Often, a new owner tries to just evict everyone upon assuming ownership without following the Uniform Relocation Act, which is unlawful.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are being displaced, it is very important that you do not move until you identify what your rights are.

HUD has a great overview of the URA and even provides Regional Relocation Specialists (directory) that can assist tenants in danger of relocation.

Is there a program to help purchase a home? (Homeownership)

Yes, there are homeownership programs that help guide qualified persons to purchase their own home, and HUD's website provides a great amount of advice for future homeowners; including what programs are available, how to get a loan, other information about the process of purchasing a home.

  • HUD's homeownership web page provides a wealth of information for anyone looking to purchase a home; starting with determining how much you can afford, all the way to closing on your new home.
  • Some housing authorities that participate in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program offer a homeownership program for qualified current HCV tenants. Contact the housing authority that manages your voucher, and ask if it offers a Section 8 homeownership program. You can use the search bar on the top of this page to search our website for housing authority contact information.
  • Some housing authorities that participate in the Public Housing program offer a homeownership program for available Public Housing units. The housing authority may restrict purchases to only current qualified residents. Contact the housing authority in your area of interest, and ask if it offers a Public Housing homeownership program. You can use the search bar on the top of this page to search our website for housing authority contact information.