Section 8 Housing in Indiana:
Indiana rules for acquiring Section 8 housing through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is quite similar to other states in the country. Households that are eligible can receive subsidies from the Indiana public housing agency (PHA) to find rental properties from private landlords. Some income eligibility and other qualifying criteria for Section 8 may vary across the state of Indiana.
Section 8 programs in Indiana have one simple goal: to provide low-income housing that renters can afford. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), a family must allocate 30 percent of its gross income for utilities and rent to afford adequate housing. A Section 8 voucher in Indiana pays the portion of a tenant's rent that exceeds that 30 percent figure and in some cases, 40 percent of income.
In Indiana, Section 8 aims to shorten the gap between rental costs and wages. The fair market rate for rent on a two-bedroom apartment in Indiana is $705, as of 2012. As the NLIHC explains, a full-time worker in the state must earn $13.58 an hour to afford a standard two-bedroom apartment. The minimum wage in Indiana is $7.25 as of 2012. In Indianapolis, a worker must earn $14.50 an hour to afford a two-bedroom rental at the market rate of $754.
Specific rent standards for Section 8 programs nationwide is published annually by HUD. In Indiana, Section 8 recipients can select housing with rents above the state's standard. However, tenants must pay their additional share of rent which can't exceed 40 percent of their gross income. For example, the 2012 rent standard on a two-bedroom in Indianapolis is $761. If a Section 8 household making $1,000 a month is to rent an apartment for $700, they must pay 30 percent or $300. Yet, the same family cannot pay $900 in rent because the rent share would be around $440-300 plus $140 over the rental standard. This is approximately 44 percent of gross income which above the 40 percent limit. HUD may adjust this standard on a case by cases basis and take into account a family's utility costs as well.
Indiana renters qualify for Section 8 housing assistance when income doesn't exceed 40 percent for a single household and 50 percent for a combined household. For example, if a family of four in Indianapolis has a median income is $50,000, a family woudl qualify when their income was below $25,000. As another example, if a single household in Bloomington, Indiana has a median income of $35,000, a single household would qualify if their income was below $14,000.