Applying for Section 8 in Rhode Island need not be an intimidating process that puts people off from applying to the program in the first place. However, careful research can go a long way from taking the confusion out of the process and alleviate the hassle of constantly being surprised by unexpected red tape.
Rhode Island Section 8
Getting a spot with Section 8 can seem like a daunting task. To walk you through it, here is an outline of how to apply for Section 8 in Rhode Island.
1. Submit an Application
All applicants to the program can apply at their local P.H.A. office. You can apply to more than 1 P.H.A. at a time in order to increase your chances of receiving assistance.If you decide to move please notify the P.H.A. in advance. The program is directed exclusively at U.S. citizens or qualified aliens. Then there is the question of income limits which vary by an enormous amount and are defined by the official median area income. As a rule households that are 50% below the median income qualify but this varies. And of course you must have a clean record which means that you haven’t been evicted in violation of Section 8’s conditions.
2. Verification Process
Of course when you apply for Section 8 assistance you must have all your documents in order when you visit your local P.H.A. office. This includes a Social Security verification letter along with proof of benefits. You’ll also need proof of income, bank statements, documentation that proves you are receiving public assistance benefits and any relevant information on assets that you own.
3. Waiting List
If approved you can expect to put onto a waiting list because demand is outstripping supply at this point. They will notify you when your name is near the top of the list. All the necessary information that you need to go through the entire process is to be found through Rhode Island Housing. The good news is that the waiting list is currently open to new applicants. If you are on the waiting list you can check your status.
1. Property Inspection
Section 8 is a government program designed to assist low income people to pay their rent to a private landlord if they can’t afford to pay rent themselves for a house that is both safe and sanitary. The first step is that after the Section 8 recipients have chosen their proposed house, a Providence Housing Authority inspector will check that the house meets the requirement as far as sanitation and hygiene is concerned. It should be noted that renting a house is not the only option available because R.I. has 15,000 apartments available for Section 8 voucher holders.
2. Signing a Contract
The P.H.A. will then sign a contract with the landlord after the property has passed inspection. You should expect the Section 8 payment to pay for approximately 70% the cost of utilities and rent. Section 8 recipients are expected to pay out the balance of the rent and utilities.
Be aware that you should do plenty of your own research and please don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s important to be aware of the rules before committing to the program but always remember that Section 8 is designed to assist you. Preparation is your friend when it comes to Section 8.