Can a single person qualify for section 8? The Ultimate guide!

Yes, a single person can qualify for Section 8 housing assistance.

Eligibility requirements for Section 8 for single person

1. Age and Citizenship/Eligibility Status:

   – The applicant must be 18 years old or older.

   – The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen.

2. Income Eligibility:

   – The applicant’s household income must be less than 50% of the area median income.

3. Residency Requirements:

   – The applicant must meet the residency requirements for the state in which they are applying. In North Carolina, for example, Section 8 applicants must be either U.S. citizens or naturalized aliens resident in the state.

4. Household Criteria:

   – The applicant must meet the household criteria based on Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines. A household can consist of a single person or a group of individuals who live together, regardless of their relation.

5. Criminal Background Check:

   – All members of the household must pass a criminal background check. Drug or sexual offense charges can disqualify the household, while other criminal charges are considered on a case-by-case basis.

6. Eviction History:

   – The applicant must not have a history of eviction.

7. Documentation:

   – The applicant must provide the name and Social Security Number for all members of the household, as well as income information for each member of the family when applying for Section 8 housing assistance.

8. Application Process:

   – The applicant can apply for Section 8 housing assistance online or in person through their local Public Housing Authority (PHA).

9. Voucher Issuance:

   – If eligible, the applicant will receive a voucher that can be used to help pay for housing. The applicant can choose any housing that meets program requirements.

10. Landlord Participation:

    – The applicant must find a landlord who accepts Section 8 vouchers.

    – Landlords who wish to rent to Section 8 voucher holders are required to have their property inspected by HUD authorities annually.

11. Property Availability:

    – Landlords must inform the local housing authority of their property’s availability.

    – It is advisable for landlords to include mention that they accept Section 8 vouchers in their advertising.

    – Landlords are not obligated to accept an applicant just because they have Section 8 vouchers.

These are the key steps and requirements for a single person or household to determine their eligibility for Section 8 housing assistance. The specific details and procedures may vary depending on the local Public Housing Authority and state regulations, so it’s important to contact the relevant local authorities for the most up-to-date and specific information.

Pros and cons of Section 8 for single people

Pros of Section 8 for single people

  1. On-Time Rent Payments: The government provides housing assistance payments, ensuring that landlords receive rent on time.
  2. Assured Rental Income: Government subsidies make rental income more assured compared to non-subsidized rentals.
  3. Fair Market Rent: Section 8 allows landlords to set rent at fair market rates, potentially leading to higher income.
  4. Lower Vacancy Rates: With a consistent source of Section 8 tenants, landlords may experience lower vacancy rates, resulting in better cash flow and return on investment.
  5. Steady Source of Tenants: There is a steady supply of Section 8 families seeking rental units, potentially leading to higher occupancy rates.
  6. Longer Average Tenancy: Section 8 tenants often have longer tenancies, reducing turnover costs for landlords.
  7. Low-Income Category: Section 8 tenants are typically in the low-income category, making them more appealing as tenants.
  8. Steady Rental Income: Section 8 tenants provide a reliable source of rental income.
  9. Faster Vacancy Filling: Landlords can fill vacancies more quickly with Section 8 tenants.
  10. Community Stabilization: Section 8 tenants can contribute to community stabilization by ensuring that affordable housing is available, benefiting both tenants and the neighborhoods in which they reside.

Cons of Section 8 for single people

  1. Greater Scrutiny: Renting to Section 8 tenants subjects the property to increased government rules and regulations.
  2. Tenant Hesitation: Other non-Section 8 tenants may be hesitant to rent from a property with Section 8 tenants.
  3. Limited Landlord Participation: Not all landlords accept Section 8 vouchers, limiting the pool of potential properties.
  4. Burdensome Inspections: The Section 8 program requires landlords to undergo inspections, which can be considered burdensome by some.
  5. Limited Housing Options: Applicants may have limited housing options because not all landlords accept Section 8 vouchers.
  6. Limited Availability: High demand for affordable housing can lead to waiting lists, and priority is often given to specific groups (families with children, elderly, individuals with disabilities).
  7. Income Requirements: Applicants must meet specific income requirements to be eligible for Section 8 housing.
  8. Residency Requirements: Applicants must meet residency requirements to be eligible for Section 8 housing.
  9. Criminal Background Checks: All household members are subject to criminal background checks.
  10. Eviction History: Applicants must not have a history of eviction to be eligible for Section 8 housing.

Landlords considering Section 8 tenants should weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision about participation in the program.

Common challenges faced by single people applying for Section 8

Section 8 for single person
Section 8 for single person

Single individuals applying for Section 8 housing assistance may indeed encounter various challenges throughout the application process. Here are common challenges they may face:

  1. Limited Availability: High demand for affordable housing often results in waiting lists for Section 8 vouchers. Some applicants may face longer wait times. Priority is frequently given to families with children, elderly individuals, or those with disabilities.
  2. Income Requirements: Section 8 applicants must meet specific income requirements, generally set at or below 50% of the median income for their area. Single individuals with higher incomes may not qualify for the program.
  3. Residency Requirements: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents and live in the United States. They are also typically required to be residents of the state where they are applying for Section 8 housing.
  4. Criminal Background Checks: All members of the household must pass a criminal background check. Drug or sexual offense charges can result in disqualification, while other criminal charges are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  5. Eviction History: Applicants should not have a history of eviction, as this can impact their eligibility for Section 8 housing assistance.
  6. Limited Landlord Participation: Many landlords can choose not to accept Section 8 vouchers, even if the voucher covers the rent. This can limit housing options, and landlords in more desirable neighborhoods may be less inclined to participate.
  7. Burdensome Inspections: Some landlords may find the inspections required by the Section 8 program to be burdensome, which can deter them from participating.
  8. Limited Housing Options: Section 8 housing assistance may restrict housing options because not all landlords accept Section 8 vouchers. This limitation can impact the applicant’s ability to choose their preferred housing.

Tips for single people applying for Section 8

These are valuable tips for individuals applying for Section 8 housing assistance:

  1. Contact Your Local Public Housing Authority (PHA) Early: Due to high demand, some areas may have waiting lists for Section 8 vouchers. Applying early increases your chances of getting assistance. Be proactive and reach out to your local PHA as soon as possible.
  2. Gather Required Documentation: Collect all the necessary documentation before submitting your application. This includes income records, residency status, rental history, and the results of a background check. Having these documents ready will streamline the application process.
  3. Be Prepared for Questions: Expect questions about your income, assets, and housing needs. Meeting specific income requirements is crucial for Section 8 eligibility. The PHA will need this information to determine the appropriate voucher amount.
  4. Understand Denial Reasons: If your Section 8 voucher application is denied, don’t hesitate to ask the PHA for the reasons behind the denial. Understanding why you were denied can help you address any issues and potentially improve your eligibility in the future.
  5. Explore Other Resources: While waiting for Section 8 housing approval, consider looking into other resources, such as emergency housing assistance or low-income rental housing programs. These programs can provide safe and stable housing options in the interim.

Success stories of single people who have qualified for Section 8

Latina Entrepreneur and Single Mother (Southern California):

  • A Latina entrepreneur and single mother in Southern California achieved success in the housing industry.
  • After years of working in the field, she founded her property management group.
  • She successfully convinced property owners to accept Section 8 voucher holders.
  • As a result, she now has several vacancies that can be filled with Section 8 participants, providing them with affordable and stable housing options.

Single Non-Elderly Disabled Individuals (General Success Rate):

  • According to a study on Section 8 voucher success rates, single non-elderly disabled individuals have displayed the highest success rates among program participants.
  • This success underscores the effectiveness of Section 8 assistance in helping individuals with unique challenges secure affordable and stable housing.

These success stories illustrate the positive impact of Section 8 housing assistance on the lives of single individuals and their ability to find stable and affordable housing through the program.


In conclusion, a single person can indeed qualify for Section 8 housing assistance, but the process comes with a set of eligibility requirements and potential challenges. Meeting age, citizenship, income, and residency criteria is essential. While Section 8 offers numerous benefits, such as stable rental income and community stabilization, it also poses challenges, like limited availability and the burden of inspections. To overcome obstacles, applicants should be proactive, well-prepared, and explore alternative housing options. Ultimately, Section 8 provides a vital avenue for single individuals to access affordable housing, though it may require perseverance and resourcefulness.

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