Can you lose section 8 housing eligibility while on the waitlist?
Section 8 housing is very hard to come by and there is a long waiting list. The first thing to understand is that this program is only for low-income Americans. When you apply for Section 8 housing, you will be given a housing voucher. But the waiting time is prolonged and during this time period one can easily lose the eligibility for a variety of reasons…read on to learn WHAT NOT TO DO!
Do NOT Do This…
The most common reason why people are denied section 8 housing is because of a past conviction. What most people do not know is that this agency also looks at your spending habits and if during the waiting period, you buy fancy cars, boom boxes and exotic digital phones, you can quickly lose your eligibility. The section 8 authorities believe that if you spend money recklessly then you will not make a good tenant – chiefly because you will not be able to save for your rent copayment. So once you get placed on the waiting list, change your lifestyle and do not splurge money on junk.
Do NOT Do This…
Another common scenario is being denied for illicit drug use or possession. While there are no laws in place that mandate drug screening, a bill is in motion to ensure that landlords will be able to do that in future. However, if you have ever been arrested from drug possession or selling drugs, than this also severely reduces your risk of getting a reversal of denial.
What to do if you are denied Section 8?
Then DO This…
So is there a chance to get the denial reversed for section 8 housing? Once you are denied, you will get a letter stating the reason. Now you have two options- one is not to do anything and look for housing elsewhere. The other option is to ask for a review. If you plan to ask for a review, you must make a solid effort in writing to get the decision reversal. For example, if you were denied housing because of wasting money unnecessarily, state the reasons why you spent the money, on whom, why and why you had to do it. Show them what you have saved in the meantime and that you live within your means. If you have a steady job, enclose a letter from the employer and have a statement from your bank to show your saving ability. You have to prove to them that you are responsible and will be able to pay the rent once you get the section 8 housing.
What if you were arrested or had a felony?
Then DO This…
If you were denied section 8 housing following an arrest or incarceration, then the onus is on to you to prove that you have changed and that it was just an isolated incident. For most previously incarcerated people, the wait time to get housing is long because the authorities want to make sure that you are leading a clean life. If you are consistently getting into problems with the legal system, then you need to find another place to stay.
Overall, once you have been denied section 8 housing, you must show the authorities that you are now a changed person– and last thing –never lie to them. This is one factor that will permanently erase your chances of living in section 8 housing. Depending on your situation, you may need assistance from a lawyer or a paralegal for help with your application in order to get the denial reversed, unless it was for something trivial.