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5 Common Reasons For Section 8 Rejection

During The Great Depression, the government committed to the cause of providing good quality rental accommodations for low-income tenants. Keeping this in mind, a housing law was passed to enable landlords to rent their properties to low-income families.

Over the years, the law has changed several times but the goal remains the same. Not everybody qualifies for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, though. There are many conditions one has to fulfill to be eligible. Here are the five most common causes of the rejection in Section 8:

1. Criminal Record

The criminal record of the application must be clean in at least the last two years for minor crimes or misdemeanors. These include petty theft, vandalism, reckless driving, etc. However, an applicant who has been convicted of major crimes such as murder, rape, felony, etc. are required to have a clean record for the last five years. The applicants are advised to show if they went through any rehabilitation program. This will help them with their application.

2. Drug Usage

If the applicant or any house member is currently engaged in the illegal selling, purchase or usage of drugs, then the housing authorities can reject the application by law. It is a reasonable assumption on the part of the housing authority to expect harm and disturbance to the neighborhood in such cases. The same holds true for alcohol addiction as well.

3. False Information

If the applicant has intentionally provided false information in the application. This could be a ground for a direct rejection or more paperwork can be sought by the housing authority. Applicants might bear in mind that the housing authority might reject an application if the applicant has provided correct information in the current application but gave false details in the last three years.

4. Series of Evictions

The application might get rejected in case a series of evictions is proven. This establishes reasonable doubt to assume that the applicant has been regularly causing a disturbance in the neighborhood or has caused damage to the rented property.

​5. History of non-payment of rent

The housing authority also rejects applications if there has been a history of non-payment of rent. This comes with a rider, though. If the applicant has paid at least 50% of their monthly income towards their rent, eviction for non-payment cannot be held as a reason for rejection. Besides the five most common reasons for Section 8 rejection above, the applicants must ensure that their forms are duly filled and signed to get approval. Reread the forms and see that they are properly signed before they are submitted. Missing out information about a signature can cause unnecessary delays in the progress of the application.

The applicants are advised to read their rejection letters carefully to see that there have been no factual mistakes. Section 8 is a great program but is sometimes rife with old-fashioned bureaucracy. In case the application has been rejected, one shouldn’t lose hope. The applicant can appeal easily the denial and seek legal help too.


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