Common Questions about Section 8 Housing in Alabama:
Many people have questions about using their Section 8 voucher in Alabama. Following are some of the more common questions and their answers.
Q. I have my Section 8 voucher. How do I find a home in Alabama?
A. Once you have your voucher, you're ready to go apartment-shopping. You'll be looking for a property that accepts Section 8; within that requirement your choices are unlimited. You may choose any type of property. Most landlords accept Section 8 because the income is reliable and Section 8 tenants are usually better tenants than private payers. Keep in mind, though, that landlords are not required to accept Section 8 vouchers. Once you've found a property that meets all Section 8 requirements (including an inspection to ensure the building is decent, safe and sanitary), the housing authority will contract with the landlord to pay the rent on your new home.
Q. How much will my rent be with a Section 8 voucher?
A. Section 8 rent obligations are based on income. Your Section 8 voucher will pay anything over 30% of your adjusted monthly income, up to a limit established under the rules of the Section 8 program.
Q. The apartment I want carries higher than HUD's established Fair Market Rent. Can I rent this apartment?
A. You may, but you will have to pay the additional rent in excess of Fair Market Rent.
Q. Can I rent an apartment in a different Alabama county or city from where I received my Section 8 voucher?
A. Yes, you may. Section 8 vouchers can be used anywhere in the United States where there is a public housing authority to administer the voucher. If you are in Oklahoma when you receive your voucher, you can move to Texas and use your voucher there.
Q. I'm confused about tenant-based and project-based Section 8 vouchers. Can you explain?
A. A tenant-based Section 8 voucher is assigned to you, personally, as a tenant. You can take it anywhere. A project-based Section 8 voucher is assigned to the property. If you are living in an apartment with project-based Section 8 and you move, you will not carry the Section 8 voucher with you. The next tenant in the apartment will use the voucher.
Q. I'm trying to buy a home. Can I use my Section 8 voucher to pay a mortgage?
A. Yes. The Section 8 program now allows qualified first-time homebuyers to use Section 8 vouchers for mortgage payments. There are certain qualifications that must be met, in addition to being a first-time homebuyer. These include a minimum income, minimum length of employment (except for the elderly or disabled), and homeownership counseling.
Hopefully these answers have helped resolve any remaining questions you may have about Section 8 housing in Alabama.