There are so many misconceptions and a tremendous lack of accurate information concerning Section 8 vouchers. These vouchers keep families and singles in safe homes and rental apartments. The program was created by the Housing Community Development Act of 1978.
The Housing Choice Voucher program, also known as Section 8 today, provides assistance to those qualified low-and-moderate-income families and singles to be able to lease spaces in the housing market. Key factors to be considered are gross annual income and family size. These funds act as rental subsidies in conjunction with those qualified participants to pay an equitable and fair amount of their income, no more than a maximum of 40% of their adjusted monthly take-home pay toward their rent share.
NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) was created in 1935 to provide decent, affordable rentals for low-middle-income New Yorkers and administers the largest Section 8 program in the U.S. Approximately 85,000 Section 8 vouchers and over 25,000 owners currently engage successfully in the program. The NYC Housing Preservation & Development and NYS Homes and Community Renewal also facilitate Section 8 programs in NYC.
NYCHA is home to approximately one in 16 New Yorkers across 177,569 units within 335 housing developments through public, Section 8, and PACT/RAD programs. More can be researched by going to NYC Section 8 Voucher info for complete information on the program and required qualifications.
Nassau County has a Section 8 Voucher Program similar to the NYC programs. However, after 30 years of consistent service, as of Nov. 30, 2022, the program no longer was handled by the Nassau County Department of Housing via NYS Homes and Community Renewal. Then the Town of North Hempstead and Hempstead Town Section 8 programs were administered by the Community Development Corporation of Long Island, effective Dec. 1, 2022. Any programs that were already in effect were not altered whatsoever and the funding continued uninterrupted.
The current number to call for assistance is (631) 471-1215. For more information go to: Section 8 Info There are also grant programs for those who want to purchase but do not have the available funds for closings. If you live in the home for at least 10 years, the money becomes a grant and you do not have to repay the funds.
I must dispel some erroneous and incorrect facts about Section 8 programs. Those families and singles seeking assistance who qualify are being supported by New York State and/or the U.S. government. Landlords are guaranteed consistent payments electronically transferred monthly into their corporate accounts without any interruption. I ask any landlord, do you have or ever had any of your tenants guarantee their rental payments each and every month without fail? The answer is most assuredly “No!”
These government-secured programs allow the prospective tenants to work and in certain situations earn up to $100,000 with adjustments to the amount they will receive depending on family size. I am currently assisting a family who has a Section 8 Voucher and working with a landlord in Great Neck. He has met the prospective tenant and is very happy with them. The tenant happens to be going to law school but has a total of five in her family.
Most important, rental payments will go directly into the landlord’s account on a monthly basis without any issues or interruptions. No excuses about forgetting, lack of a stamp, no envelope, no computer or internet service or whatever excuses tenants normally provide.
The other issues with tenants that landlords accept outside the Section 8 Voucher programs are: What happens when their finances change due to the loss of a job or failure of their business? What if an adult passes away and the rent cannot be paid? Landlords should be much more open to considering Section 8 Voucher families. Landlords do not have to worry about income or credit since the prospective tenants aren’t responsible for their rent, but there are exceptions to the rules and regulations of the law. Here are two additional links to find out more information and become more educated and informed as to the huge benefits of the Section 8 Programs and exceptions: Section 8 Government Programs https://www.hud.gov/topics/housing_choice_voucher_program_section_8
Landlords need to step up to the plate, and pay it forward by helping those in serious and sometimes desperate need of housing who have qualified Section 8 Vouchers. Rental inventory is at historic lows, and there is a severe shortage of affordable units. Improvements in availability do not appear to be coming down the pike anytime soon. Landlords should not be afraid or turn down Section 8 Vouchers (or enhanced Vouchers) as it is an important facet of our housing market.
Fines can be quite severe. Newsday, reported several weeks ago that a major Long Island firm got caught saying that the landlord wasn’t considering a voucher applicant. If you feel you have been discriminated against currently or in the past during your search, you can call and report your complaint to HUD at 1-800-669-9777.
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Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has 40 years of experience in the Real Estate industry and has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (G.R.I.) and also as a Certified International Property Specialist (C.I.P.S) as well as the new “Green Industry” Certification for eco-friendly construction and upgrades. For a “FREE” 15-minute consultation, value analysis of your home, or to answer any of your questions or concerns he can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: [email protected] or via https://WWW.Li-RealEstate.Com