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Home ownership using Section 8 vouchers

Can I really own a home if I’m on Section 8?

The short answer is yes. Everyone wants the chance to own their home, and Section 8 participants are no different. Ownership will help you build equity and stability. If approved for the  program it will allow the monthly Section 8 payment to be used to cover mortgage and other maintenance expenses.

General eligibility requirements

To be eligible for the program you must be a first time home buyer, but there is an exception, more on that later.  Your  home must pass an initial housing quality standards inspection conducted by the housing authority and an independent home inspection and appraisal before the housing authority may approve the purchase by the family.

So what’s the catch?

Well it’s my understanding that individual housing authorities have the final say over the additional requirements and that is where the difficulty comes in. For example in the Chicago housing authority you must:

  • Join their pre-counseling program
  • Earn at least $10,300 annually from employment, in essence, you must work
  • Be in compliance with all the rules and regulations of Section 8
  • Be a first time home buyer or not have owned a home for at least 3 years
  • Preference is given to voucher holders who have had two years of continuous employment

Eligible families should contact their local housing authority to apply.  For more information see this brochure