How Can I Determine Rent on Subsidized Housing?

If you get Section 8 rental assistance — a Housing Choice Voucher — from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, you pay some of your rent into a private market landlord, even while your regional housing authority pays the amount that exceeds a certain proportion of your earnings. Your household income, which also functions as the main qualifying criterion for the application, and HUD’s payment standard to your area dictate just how much you pay.

Locate Section 8 units you believe you would love to dwell in. Compare the rent of those units to HUD’s payment criteria for its low-income housing programs. Most cities use the same information to arrange subsidized housing plans they operate outside of HUD’s purview. Back in San Francisco, the payment standard for a two-bedroom flat is currently 1,823, as of September 2009, according to the San Francisco Housing Authority.

Calculate 30 percent of your monthly pretax income if the rent for the device you’re thinking about is at or below the payment standard. If your annual income is $1,500, your share of the rent in an $1,800 apartment is about $450. Your Section 8 voucher covers the residual $1,350. The regional housing authority will adjust these amounts slightly to account for the cost of your utility obligations.

Calculate around 40 percent of your yearly pretax income if the lease for the device you’re thinking about exceeds HUD’s payment standard. Since the HUD Housing Choice Voucher website clarifies , a Section 8 household can rent a unit whose rent is much greater than the payment standard; however, the household has to pay the extra rent around 40 percent of its monthly gross earnings. A Section 8 family’s portion of the rent cannot exceed 40 percent of its own gross income. By way of example, if the two-bedroom San Francisco flat you aspire to rent by Section 8 costs $1,900, the housing authority would ask you to pay $527 in rent ($450 + the $77 within the payment standard). Because this is less than 40% of your $1,500 yearly earnings, you would have the ability to rent the flat through the program.

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