Ways Section 8 Can Help Provide Veteran Housing

Feb 12, 2024

Considerations for Veterans Applying for Section 8 

Every qualifying person who has served in a military branch may be eligible to participate in the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, better known as VASH, by being eligible for a Section 8 Voucher. However, even though they are suitable for the same benefits as those under the traditional Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Section 8 Program, additional considerations and resources are available to help our nation’s heroes receive affordable housing. This post is a brief overview of the finer points of Section 8 as it applies to veterans. For more detailed information, consult the federal register.

History of Section 8 and Veteran Housing

The Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) within the VASH Program have helped provide veteran housing for homeless warriors since 1992; however, in 2008, regular funding started and has increased yearly. Under the HUD-VASH program, eligible low-income veterans receive a Section 8 Housing Choice voucher alongside case management and supportive services from the VA.  Veterans can participate in this program through the combined efforts of Veteran Affairs, more commonly known as the VA, Medical Centers, and the local public housing authority. Specifically, these are the procedures that are laid down in Section 9(o)19 of the United States Housing Act of 1937, 42 USC 1427f(o)(19).

Questions Veterans Have About Section 8

There are special considerations that accompany the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher regarding veteran housing, which may affect potential outcomes. Below, we have compiled an extensive list of Section 8 Housing eligibility for veterans.

Does Having a Family Make Me Eligible? 

Having a family is not an eligibility requirement for the HUD-VASH Program. Section 8 allows veterans housing opportunities, either recently returned or long returned, for themselves and their families.

Is There an Income Consideration?

As with all programs under Section 8, the HUD-VASH program has income limits that HUD sets; however, there is no minimum income needed to be eligible for the program. PMHA will determine a household’s eligibility for Section 8 housing based on income.

How Long is My Search Term?

PMHA issues all tenant-based vouchers with a search term of 120 days. A person with disabilities they may be eligible for an additional 60 days to search for acceptable housing.

What are the Terms of the Initial Lease?

The initial lease term for all tenant-based vouchers under the Section 8 HCV program must be at least one year. If a program participant needs to get out of the lease within the initial year, they must talk with the landlord and discuss a mutual rescission. An eligible program participant may request to move after the initial terms of the lease are met or if a mutual recission has been established.

What About the Portability of HUD-VASH Vouchers?

To take advantage of these benefits, veterans and their families must receive case management services from the partnering VA representative that handles Portage County. The VA will determine if the veteran is eligible to port and if there are available vouchers in the jurisdiction that they wish to transfer to.

What Does Case Management Do?

Case Management provided by the VA handles various aspects of a veteran’s use of the Section 8 HCV. The VA provides referrals to the housing authority, completes screening to ensure that potential veteran participants adhere to the terms determined by the VA, helps with application procedures, provides housing search assistance, identifies social services, and maintains records. 

Can My Assistance Be Cancelled? 

Yes, a participant of the HUD-VASH Program may be terminated if they fail to comply with the program’s requirements. They may also give up their subsidy and no longer participate in the program. However, such occurrences are not frequent. A common occurrence of termination from the program would be due to a violation of the housing agreement. However, termination may also occur if the veteran does not appropriately participate in their case management. 

How Do I Turnover HUD-VASH Vouchers?

There have been occurrences when a veteran no longer qualifies or needs further assistance regarding their housing needs. Once turned over, the vouchers must be given to other homeless veterans.

Are there other options for veterans besides the HUD-VASH Program?

Yes, PMHA maintains a Section 8 (waitlist is currently closed to new applicants) and Public Housing waiting list. PMHA gives a preference to applicants where the head of household, spouse, or co-head is a veteran or survivor of a veteran (honorable discharged) who actively served in a branch of the United States Armed Services or an active member of a branch of the United States Armed Services. The term survivor includes the spouse or widow of a veteran (unless remarried).  For questions regarding PMHA’s waiting lists, please contact the Applications Department at (330) 297-1489. In Portage County, a homeless veteran may also seek housing through Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), administered by Family & Community Services. If you wish to learn more about this program, please call Family & Community Services at (330) 297-7027.

PMHA Can Help Find Veteran Housing

Comfortable and dignified housing opportunities should be available for all citizens. However, some may be particularly deserving, such as those who have given so much for the rest of us. If you have served your country, PMHA is grateful for your service. If you have found that you need housing since your return home, it’s okay. You have options. Learn more today to learn how PMHA can help you.

 

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