section 8 rental assistance

Section 8

Section 8 is a federally funded housing program that provides rental assistance to eligible families, based on their family size and household income. This assistance provides families with alternative housing choices and opportunities to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency.

The U.S. Department of Housing Urban Development (HUD) determines the rules and regulations for the (S-8) program. Housing authorities are provided some latitude in establishing their own policies and procedures, which are found in the S-8 Administrative Plan.

Locally, success of this program depends on the Mobile County Housing Authority's (MCHA) ability to contract with property managers and owners, who have units that meet HUD's minimum housing quality standards of decent, safe and sanitary housing. Many low-income and very low-income families, regardless of size, rely on persons like you who are willing to participate in the S-8 program. Their financial status may prevent them from keeping pace with rising rental housing costs. Participating families include elderly persons, disabled persons, single persons with no dependents, working families, and families with no income.

How to Apply

The application process is simple and easy. Applications are only accepted when the voucher program waiting list is open. Feel free to fill out a preliminary application form, and mail or bring to the MCHA main office. Applications are not accepted via e-mail.

Waiting List

The MCHA will take applications on an "as needed basis" depending on the length of the waiting list and available funding. The S-8 waiting list will not be merged with other waiting lists. Decisions to close the waiting list, restrict intake, or open the waiting list will be publicly announced.

See Income Limits below.

Applicants must be 19 years of age or older to apply.

Currently not taking applications.

Section-8 Responsibilities

S-8 is a three-way partnership between the family, the owner/landlord and the MCHA. You must do the following:

  • Accept applications
  • Determine eligibility of applicants
  • Issue housing choice vouchers includes briefings
  • Recruit owners/landlords
  • Inspect/re-inspect units initially and at least annually
  • Approve leases and the owner
  • Make timely housing assistance payments
  • Ensure continued eligibility of family
  • Ensure compliance of rules and regulations by owners and families
  • Offer and conduct hearings

The participating family must:

  • Comply with all program rules and regulations and all family obligations
  • Provide complete and accurate information to the MCHA
  • Sign and submit consent forms for obtaining information
  • Find a suitable place to live that meets program standards
  • Attend all scheduled appointments
  • Allow the Housing Authority to inspect the unit
  • Allow landlord to enter assisted unit to complete necessary repairs
  • Comply with terms of the lease with owner and HUD's tenancy addendum
  • Pay rent on time
  • Report maintenance problems in a timely manner
  • Not commit any serious or repeated violation of the lease

Unit Inspections

The Housing Quality Standards (HQS) have been set by HUD to assist units in meeting minimum health and safety standards. HQS consists of performance and acceptability criteria, or HUD approved variations in the acceptability criteria. Please contact HUD for necessary forms.

Contact HUD for Necessary Forms

Rent Reasonableness

The rent reasonableness test is required, and conducted on each unit and is essential to the successful operation of the S-8 program. Reasonable rent is defined as a rent to owner that is not more than rent charged for:

  • Comparable units in the private unassisted market
  • Comparable unassisted units in the premises

Factor Considerations

  • Unit size (square footage);
  • Age (year built);
  • Quality (includes quality of workmanship);
  • Unit type (single family, duplex, mobile home, etc);
  • Location (site and neighborhood, access to public services, etc.);
  • Amenities (carpet, ceramic floors, air conditioning, central heat, insulation, washer & dryer hookups, etc);
  • Housing services provided;
  • Maintenance provided; and
  • Utilities (does the landlord furnish water, stove, refrigerator, etc.)

A fair rent is paid for units selected for participation in the S-8 program, (the rent charged for assisted units may not exceed rents for unassisted units). The program does not have the effect of inflating rents in the community.

section 8

2024 Income Limits

Extremely Low Income

1-Person: 16,000
2-Person: 20,440
3-Person: 25,750
4-Person: 31,200
5-person: 36,580
6-person: 41,960
7-person: 47,100
8-person: 50,200

Very Low Income

1-Person: 26,600
2-Person: 30,400
3-Person: 34,200
4-Person: 38,000
5-person: 41,050
6-person: 44,100
7-person: 47,100
8-person: 50,200

Low Income

1-Person: 42,600
2-Person: 48,650
3-Person: 54,750
4-Person: 60,800
5-person: 65,700
6-person: 70,550
7-person: 75,400
8-person: 80,300

Section 8 Frequently Asked Questions

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