What’s the Difference Between Section 8 and Public Housing?
When it comes to affordable housing programs in the United States, two commonly known options are Section 8 and Public Housing. While both programs aim to provide affordable housing to low-income individuals and families, they differ in terms of funding, eligibility requirements, and management. In this article, we will explore the differences between Section 8 and Public Housing, along with some interesting facts about these programs.
Interesting Facts about Section 8 and Public Housing:
1. Funding: Section 8 is primarily funded by the federal government through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). On the other hand, Public Housing is funded by HUD but managed by local public housing agencies (PHAs). This means that the funds for Public Housing are allocated and administered at the local level, providing more control to the PHAs.
2. Eligibility: Section 8 has income limits that determine eligibility for the program. These limits vary depending on the area’s median income and family size. Public Housing, on the other hand, typically has income limits set at 80% of the median income for the area. However, each PHA may have its own specific eligibility criteria.
3. Rent Calculation: In Section 8, participants pay approximately 30% of their income towards rent, while the remaining portion is covered by the program. In Public Housing, the rent is based on the family’s income and the unit’s market value. Generally, the rent is set at 30% of the family’s adjusted monthly income.
4. Housing Options: Section 8 offers participants the flexibility to choose their housing. They can search for private rental units in the market and use their vouchers to subsidize the rent. Public Housing, however, consists of government-owned properties or developments specifically dedicated to low-income households.
5. Waiting Lists: Both Section 8 and Public Housing often have waiting lists due to high demand and limited availability. However, the waiting lists for Section 8 tend to be longer as participants have the option to choose their housing, while Public Housing waiting lists are usually shorter but with fewer options for housing selection.
Common Questions about Section 8 and Public Housing:
1. How do I apply for Section 8 or Public Housing?
To apply for Section 8 or Public Housing, you need to contact your local PHA. They will provide you with the necessary application forms and guide you through the process.
2. Can I apply for both Section 8 and Public Housing?
Yes, you can apply for both programs. However, it’s important to note that each program has its own eligibility criteria and application process.
3. How long is the waiting list for Section 8?
The waiting list for Section 8 can vary greatly depending on the area. It can range from a few months to several years.