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Home prices may be decreasing across the U.S., but finding affordable rental housing is still challenging. In Indiana, the average rent costs for a one-bedroom apartment have gone up by 2%, while the rental price of a studio apartment went up by 13%.
Coupled with rising inflation and food costs, finding affordable housing in the state becomes even more difficult.
If you are part of a low-income household and need financial assistance to cover your rental fees, it is best to check if you are eligible for Section 8 Housing in Indiana.
What Is Section 8 Housing in Indiana?
Section 8 Housing in Indiana is part of the nationwide rental assistance program established under the Housing and Community Development Act in 1974.
Also known as the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program provides government financial aid specifically to help low-income individuals or families find and afford a decent home. One key perk of the Section 8 program is that beneficiaries can choose where to live instead of being limited to vacancies in public housing facilities or subsidized housing projects.
How Does Section 8 Housing Work?
The Section 8 program in Indiana works similarly to Section 8 in Florida and other states. It is a federal program but is administered in each state by local public housing agencies. A family or individual who qualifies for the program receives housing choice vouchers.
These Section 8 vouchers can be used as partial or full payment of their rent. Once you have selected an apartment or house to rent and have been approved, the local public housing authority will use your Section 8 subsidies to pay the rent directly to your Section 8 landlord.
You and your family will shoulder any remaining amount or difference between the subsidized housing rent and the total rent.
Who Is Section 8 Housing for in Indiana?
The Indiana Section 8 housing program is for low-income earners. This generally ranges from very low to extremely low-income. Both eligible families and individuals can apply for Section 8 assistance. Income limits may vary depending on the county and the number of individuals per household.
What Does Section 8 Look Like in Indiana?
The Indiana Section 8 housing choice voucher program is administered by multiple public housing agencies.
One such public housing authority is the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority, which covers counties such as Jefferson, Davies, and Lawrence County. Another is the Indianapolis Housing Agency, which covers Indianapolis and Marion County.
The availability of Section 8 housing in Indiana is quite limited. As there are not enough housing vouchers available, an eligible family or individual can be on the waiting list for months or years, depending on availability and demand in their city or county.
What Kind of Help Can I Receive From Section 8?
An eligible household can expect to receive financial assistance to help cover housing rent, including those for homes outside of public or affordable housing projects.
What Is the Most That Section 8 in Indiana Will Pay for Financial Aid?
The Indiana Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program pays for 60% to 70% of an eligible household’s housing rent. The total amount of financial assistance will depend on factors like the total income, number of persons per household, and area or location of the housing unit.
According to data regularly published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the state public housing authorities typically set a payment standard based on fair market rents.
Will Section 8 Pay for Utilities?
In general, Section 8 will pay for utilities if the housing rental fees already include such costs. However, the vouchers will not pay for the utilities for housing units that separate the lease from utility or additional fees.
Individuals with very low income may be eligible for additional utility allowance, either under the same program or the Energy Assistance program.
What Do You Need To Qualify for Section 8?
The most important thing for Section 8 eligibility is your individual or household income. For families, this will be based on the total monthly-adjusted gross income.
Other requirements include the following:
- Individual or family income within the county income limits
- At least one member of the household is a legal U.S. citizen or resident
- No past criminal activity
- Clean rental eviction history
Although not a requirement, it is best to have an idea of where you want to live. Aside from general areas, it may also help to have a neighborhood or specific housing unit in mind.
How Do I Apply for Section 8?
If you require Indiana rental help, you may apply for Section 8 through the local public housing authority. First, look for the public housing agency in charge of the county or area you want to live in and inform them about your interest in joining the program.
What if My Claim for Help From Section 8 Is Rejected?
Even if you are eligible and your application is accepted, there is a high chance you may still be placed on the Section 8 waiting checklist. This is due to the low availability of low-income housing vouchers.
It is generally best to apply for Section 8 assistance in more than one neighborhood or housing authority to raise your chances of getting accepted and receiving a voucher.
It is possible to get put on the waitlist for extended periods. If you or one of your family members have a health condition or disability that may worsen due to your current accommodations, a doctor’s note may help move you up the waiting list.
If you are disqualified from or denied Section 8 assistance, it is recommended to double-check your requirements, particularly your income. Section 8 income limits are strictly followed. It is also worth checking for any outstanding balances with past landlords or allegations of rental fraud.
How Can Benefits Help Me?
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is a helpful and advantageous assistance program for low-income individuals and families. However, like anything, the program still has its downsides. Not only is the housing choice voucher availability limited, but there are significant information gaps.
Many individuals who could benefit from affordable housing assistance do not know about Section 8 or how to qualify, apply, or use their vouchers.
Benefits can guide you with everything you need to know. We can explain public vs. section housing, help double-check your eligibility, and guide you through the application process.
Take full advantage of the benefits and assistance afforded to you. Contact us today!