For many Kentucky families and individuals, finding an affordable place to live is a major challenge. Rents continue rising while wages fail to keep up, leaving too many struggling to cover housing costs.
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program provides a vital resource - rental assistance for eligible low-income households. This guide will explain how Section 8 works in Kentucky, who qualifies, and how to apply and maintain your rental voucher.
At the end, we'll also discuss how Section 8 recipients can receive additional savings through the Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity cell phone programs.
What is Section 8 Housing?
The Section 8 program is funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and managed locally by housing agencies. It provides vouchers to cover a portion of monthly rent and utilities to eligible low-income residents. Section 8 vouchers allow participants to choose rental units in the private market, unlike traditional public housing projects. Landlords who accept Section 8 tenants receive guaranteed on-time rental payments.
To qualify, applicants must meet certain income limits and other eligibility criteria.
Who Qualifies for Section 8 in Kentucky?
Meeting the Section 8 eligibility requirements is the first step to receiving rental assistance. To qualify in Kentucky, your household must:
- Fall under income limits - Your total gross annual household income must not exceed 50% of the median income in your area. Income thresholds adjust based on family size.
- Qualify as a resident - You must be able to prove legal residency as a Kentucky resident.
- Pass a criminal background check - Criminal history can affect eligibility, especially violent offenses and sex crimes.
- Have limited assets - Your total savings and assets should be below $50,000 in most cases.
While qualifying is essential, it does not guarantee immediate acceptance due to high demand. Persistence through the application process is key.
Navigating the Housing Choice Voucher Program Application Process
Actually getting approved for Section 8 requires completing the full application process:
First, you must find a housing authority with an open waiting list for Section 8 vouchers in your desired area. Waiting lists of suitable housing first can be very long, so checking for open lists and applying quickly is advised. The best resources for open waiting list information are the Kentucky Housing Corporation website and local housing authority offices.
Once an open list is found, complete the Section 8 application in full, either online or via paper documents. Be prepared to provide household details, income verification, photo ID, birth certificates, and anything else requested. Respond promptly to any additional requests from the housing and urban authorities.
After submitting your application, you will need to interview with the housing authority, either remotely or in-person. The interview covers questions about your full eligibility requirements and household details. Answer completely and honestly. Attending the interview is mandatory or your application may be dropped.
Finally, if approved, you will be placed on the waiting list until a voucher becomes available as others leave the program. Once your name reaches the top, the public housing authority will contact you to issue a voucher.
Using Your Section 8 Voucher
Receiving a housing voucher is a major milestone, but your Section 8 journey is just beginning. You will need to take the following steps to use your rental assistance:
- Find a qualifying rental unit that accepts Section 8 vouchers and fits your family's needs regarding location, size, etc. The unit must meet housing quality standards and pass a housing quality inspection covering health, safety and other standards.
- Pay your portion of rent to the landlord monthly, which is typically 30% of your household's adjusted gross income. Section 8 will pay the balance of rent costs directly to the landlord up to a maximum payment standard.
- Comply with all Section 8 program requirements and rules. Consistently violating the rules could lead to the loss of your voucher.
- Renew your voucher each year through recertification. This includes re-verification of your eligibility, another unit inspection, and an interview.
Using your Section 8 voucher responsibly ensures affordable housing and stability for your family. But it requires effort on your part. Be sure to hold up your end of the bargain.
Renewing Your Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Through Annual Recertification
To continue receiving Section 8 rental assistance, you must complete the annual recertification process on time each year:
Within a few months of your voucher anniversary date, you will receive recertification forms in the mail from the housing authority. Complete these forms fully and return them by the stated deadline. The forms verify any changes in income, employment, family composition and size, contact information, etc.
Your unit will also be re-inspected during the recertification period to ensure it still meets health and safety standards. Any failed items must be repaired for voucher renewal.
Finally, you will need to participate in an in-person or phone interview with the housing authority. This covers questions on your household details. A lack of response could jeopardize your rental assistance.
Staying on top of deadlines is crucial for smooth Section 8 annual recertification and uninterrupted voucher coverage.
Qualifying for Free Phone Service Through Your Section 8 Benefits
Did you know Section 8 recipients may also qualify for FREE cell phone service and data through the Lifeline program and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
You can use your Section 8 housing benefits to qualify for this service from EASY Wireless.
Who is EASY Wireless?
EASY Wireless is a Lifeline and ACP cell phone service provider here in Kentucky. We have been providing customers just like you eliminate your monthly cell phone and data bills.
We use the same national coverage network as the big carriers without the expensive monthly cell phone bills.
When you qualify for Lifeline and ACP service with EASY Wireless, you'll get:
- FREE Unlimited Talk
- FREE Unlimited Text
- FREE Unlimited Data
- Choose to Keep Your Number or Get a New One
- FREE SIM Card Kit with No Activation Fees
- FREE Delivery Right to Your Door
Bundling these programs provides hundreds in annual cell phone savings. Put those funds to food, utilities, healthcare and other essential spending.
Contact EASY Wireless today to unlock the full potential of your Section 8 benefits! Just type your zip code and email in the box below to get started.
Start Saving Today!
Apply for Section 8 in Kentucky as Soon as Possible
If you're looking for rental assistance or struggling to find affordable housing look into the Section 8 housing choice vouchers program. But with high demand, make sure to apply right away and get on waiting lists, even if they are lengthy.
Section 8 provides support to cover at least one year of your biggest monthly expenses – housing. Don't let the lack of affordable rent put your family's health and safety at risk. Reach out to contact a Kentucky housing authority today.