Investing in Section 8 Properties

The Section 8 program was enacted in 1974 by Congress to provide rent assistance to low income families.  Tenants usually pay 30% of their income towards rent and the balance is subsidized by the Federal funds.  The program is governed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

To be eligible for a Section 8 voucher, the renters’ income needs to be 50% of the median family income in their area.  Applicants should be US citizens with a few exceptions.  Individuals with a criminal background or a previous eviction history are automatically disqualified.

For the Housing to be eligible, it must comply with  HUD Housing Quality Standards which basically ensure a safe and sanitary housing space.  The Housing Authority will inspect the unit at no charge.  The landlord can advertise the unit using normal venues or on sites that are specific to Section 8 housing.

One of the benefits of renting to a Section 8 family is the lease must be a one year lease that is applicable to rental laws.  If the tenant violates this lease, you can take action as allowed by federal, state and local laws.  The tenant runs the risk of HUD revoking the assistance voucher which will hopefully ensure the rent being paid.

The subsidized amount of the rent is paid by the Housing Authority directly to the landlord, not the tenant.  The participant then pays the balance of the rent to the landlord.  In some instances, the family can even apply their voucher to a modest home purchase.

A similar program is offered through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program for rental assistance to homeless veterans with disabilities.  The VA also adds assists with case management and clinical services for the participants.  The current administration is making a concentrated effort to provide Veterans with the earned care and benefits to live productive lives.

Both programs allow landlords to place individuals in their properties with guaranteed rents.  All tenants must meet eligibility requirements as well as required background checks.  Placing Section 8 tenants requires working through the “infamous Red Tape” the first few times possibly but the rewards are worth the time and effort.  Your property is almost ensured a tenant since all offices have waiting lists plus you can feel good about yourself by helping these low income families and disabled Veterans.




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