Section 8 Voucher Information
The Section 8 Program was enacted as part of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. It is designed to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing for very low income families while maintaining their rent payments at an affordable level.
Section 8 housing is subsidized housing that isn't owned by the HACFL. Instead, a Section 8 unit is owned by an independent landlord who has entered into an agreement with the HACFL to accept rent subsidy payments from the HACFL.
When your household is accepted into the HACFL's Section 8 program, you receive a Housing Choice Voucher. The voucher represents a contractual agreement between you and the HACFL, specifying the rights and responsibilities of each party. You will be scheduled for a briefing session, which you must attend to receive your voucher. At this briefing session, you will receive all necessary information and forms. We will explain to you:
- methods used to calculate the assistance payment you will receive
- payment standards and utility allowances
- guidance to assist you in selecting a unit
- boundaries of the geographical area within which the HACFL operates
Once you have been issued a voucher, you have 60 days to find a unit suitable for your family whose landlord is a participant in the HACFL's Section 8 program. Within that time period, you must submit a Request for Lease Approval (RFLA) to the HACFL. This RFLA contains the details of the lease for the unit into which you want to move. Once the HACFL approves the lease, you are accepted into the HACFL's Section 8 program and the HACFL begins providing rent subsidy payments to your landlord.
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Section 8 Eligibility
To be eligible for Section 8 housing, you must satisfy criteria set by both the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale:
- You and your household must be a family.
- Your household's total income must fall within the appropriate income limits.
- You must have Social Security Numbers.
- You must be United States citizens or eligible immigrants.
- You must not have violated any family obligation during the past three (3) years of previous participation in the Section 8 Program.
- No family member may have committed fraud, bribery or any other corrupt or criminal act in connection with any federal housing program in the last five (5) years.
- You must not have violated the requirements of the FSS program without good cause.
- You must have paid any outstanding debt owed to any housing authority during prior participation in any federal housing program.
- No member of your family may have engaged in drug related or violent criminal activity in the past five (5) years.
- No family may have been evicted from public housing for any reason during the last five (5) years.
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Applying for Section 8 Housing
Everyone can apply. Openings in the waiting list will be advertised through public notices in local newspapers, including the Sun Sentinel and "minority" newsletters. The HACFL also sends notification faxes to public assistance agencies which are part of our network.
First, you must complete a written application form when the HACFL is accepting applications. This results in your family's placement on the waiting list.
When your family reaches the top of the waiting list, the HACFL checks your application to verify that you satisfy all HUD and HACFL eligibility factors. If you meet all criteria for entry into the Section 8 program, you will be issued a housing voucher.
Once you have applied, it is your responsibility to notify the HACFL in writing within ten (10) business days of changes in family composition, income, and address. Failure to provide information or to respond to mailings will result in your being removed from the waiting list.
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Section 8 Definitions
The following terms are used throughout our Section 8 information.
Family: This may be a group of persons or a single person:
Group of Persons: Two or more persons who intend to share residency, whose income and resources are available to meet the family's needs, and who have a history as a family unit or show evidence of a stable family relationship.
Single Person: One elderly person, one displaced person, one person with a disability, or any "other single person."
Head of Household: The adult member of the household who is designated by the family as head, is wholly or partly responsible for paying the rent, and has the legal capacity to enter into a lease under state/local law.
Income Eligibility: HUD maintains a table, updated annually, of acceptable income levels for all household sizes in all areas of the country. Your household's total annual income is compared to the values in this table to determine eligibility.
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