If you’re interested in getting housing assistance, you might want to fill out a Section 8 application for rent to own assistance. However, the Section 8 housing application requirements are quite extensive. You must meet all the requirements to qualify. 

First, the program must assign you a status as one of the following:

  • Able-bodied
  • Elderly
  • Disabled

Who Qualifies for Section 8 Housing?

Under HUD rules, you are considered elderly if you are at least 62 years of age. You are considered disabled if you have a documented mental, physical, or emotional disability that prevents you from working full-time

Establishing your age or disability status is essential because it impacts the other requirements you must meet for assistance, such as income and work status. 

The following requirements for Section 8 and HCV first time home buyer rent to own programs are standard:

  • Your income must be within the standards set by the program. 

In most cases, that means you cannot earn more than half of the median income established in the area where you intend to rent to own. You also have to meet income requirements based on federal minimum wage standards.

  • You must be employed unless you are disabled or elderly. 

To qualify as employed, you must prove you have retained the same job for no less than one year. You must also typically work for at least 30 hours per week.

  • You must undergo mandatory counseling for the home purchasing process. 

The counseling session teaches you how to deal with issues like home maintenance and creating reasonable budgets as a homeowner.

  • First-time home ownership is typically required to qualify

However, the program may also assist you if you have previously owned your own home but have not been a homeowner for an extended period. Three years or longer is the typical requirement in such a situation.

Your local Public Housing Authority (PHA) may have other requirements you must meet for HCV or Section 8 assistance. You can also talk to PHA staff members about other available rent to own or homeowner assistance programs available in your area. For example, HUD has a Good Neighbor Next Door (GNND) assistance program for which you may qualify if you are an EMT, law enforcement officer, firefighter, or educator. 

Each U.S. state also has additional state assistance programs for home purchasing or rent to own assistance. Check your PHA for a list of such programs.

If you think you meet each of the above criteria, there is one last hurdle to overcome. That is, only certain PHAs offer Section 8 applications for applicants interested in rent to own agreements. If yours does, you can request a Section 8 application. Continue reading to learn helpful advice for filling out and submitting an application.