It is no secret that buying a home is every person's dream. Demands for affordable housing have been increasing, in spite of the rise in economic activities that led to an economic expansion during the 1990s. Those who come under the low income level find it difficult to afford a house in the major cities.
While some programs provide direct help like rental assistance, some others like Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program provide incentives to private housing developers who construct low income housing units. There are many different federal as well as state programs that help the needy to find low income housing.
Very low income is 50% of median income. The median income varies with area. So, your eligibility is decided on the basis of various factors like your annual gross income, citizenship or immigration status and your history as a tenant. You may qualify as a family or an elderly or disabled person or a homeless veteran.
While non-profit housing units are owned and managed by private non-profit organizations, public housing is mostly owned and supervised by the government (except the outsourced ones).
In some cases, the PHA may permit the applicant to use the voucher for purchasing a house. HUD assistance is also available to find low rent apartments. In this case, the government funds are given directly to the apartment owners, who are willing to let their apartments on low rents for low income people.
How to Apply?
You may also log on to HUD.gov and click on the 'states' option. You have to select the particular state you are residing in, and fix an appointment with the local public housing office through the 'contact us' option. If the online application facility is not there in your area, you have to go to the office personally and submit the application.
Take down the name and telephone number of the official to be contacted. Call and tell him about your requirement, and ask him about the documents you may need for the procedure.
Usually, you have to submit a pre-application, along with the basic information regarding your income and requirement. As per the information you have furnished, you may be placed in the waiting list for eligible candidates. Those with very low annual income may become eligible for both public housing as well as programs under Section 8.
However, you have to submit the documents and prove your eligibility, once you get the call from the authorities. You have to submit birth certificate, documents to confirm your annual income (pay slip and income tax returns) and social security number.
Collect all the documents needed and submit them during the appointment with the concerned official. Explain to him the details of your requirements regarding housing. Once they confirm your eligibility, you can proceed further and procure a placement in a housing unit under the specific program.
The authorities may sometimes reject the application, if they are not satisfied with the information and documents you have furnished. You may be given an opportunity to submit the required documents. In case of further denial, you can request for an appeal.
Owing to the ever-increasing number of applicants, the list of eligible candidates can be too lengthy and so, be prepared to wait for some months (or even years), if your name is in the list. Low income housing is not a distant dream, as you can always approach the concerned authority to apply for the same.
Make sure that you have all the required documents with you at the time of submission. A good credit history may also help you positively in this task.