Everything You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing Rentals

Everything You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing Rentals

Are you a real estate investor with rental properties in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area? If so, you should know about section 8 housing.

Section 8 is the common title for the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development administers the program. 

In this article, we'll explore section 8 rentals and how you can rent your properties to tenants with vouchers. 

What Is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

The section 8 government program helps low-income families afford rent. The voucher is a subsidy bridging the gap between market prices and what a tenant can afford to pay. It's an important social safety net for working-class families and individuals who can't afford the going rates for housing. 

Vouchers help families whose income doesn't exceed 30% of the median income in their area. To qualify, a family's income can't exceed 50% of the median income in their area. 

There's often a long waiting list for families and individuals who need section 8 housing vouchers. Applicants go through a lengthy process to qualify for help. 

Screening Tenants

As a property investor, you know the benefits of your rental properties. You should also know basic laws when it comes to screening potential tenants. 

Never deny a potential tenant only because they have a section 8 voucher. That's discrimination, and it's illegal. 

Treat families with section 8 housing vouchers like any other tenant. Always screen potential tenants. How?

  • Confirm the potential tenant's employment situation
  • Run a credit check
  • Check references

If you're not already screening tenants, then you should put a process in place. If the tenant has insufficient income, even with the voucher, you can deny the applicant. You can also deny applicants who have a poor credit history. 

All Types of Tenants

There are as many types of tenants as there are people. You'll have some good tenants and some bad from different walks of life, income levels, genders, etc. 

Section 8 tenants are as likely to be good or bad tenants as any other applicants. That's why you need a reliable and consistent screening process for all applicants. 

Are you struggling to get good tenants or having difficultly with your screening process? An experienced property manager can help. Good property managers have a consistent process that removes bias while avoiding bad tenants. 

Housing Quality Standards

As an investor, you always want to maintain high-quality standards for your rental units. This helps your investments retain value. It's also important so you qualify to receive section 8 housing tenants. 

The government sets specific quality standards. If your section 8 houses for rent don't meet the standards, you won't qualify to receive vouchers. 

With section 8 vouchers, you know you'll always receive at least part of the rent when it's due. This is because it's coming from the government. Keeping your rentals up to section 8 standards means one more potential avenue of rental income. 

Understanding Section 8 Housing Vouchers

Section 8 housing vouchers are a government subsidy to help working families find affordable housing. If you invest in rental housing, you should understand the opportunities that section 8 vouchers offer. 

Are you looking for help with your screening and rental process in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area? Contact us for help from experienced property managers!


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