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Guidelines For Low Income Programs

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) establishes the guidelines for low income programs. HUD uses household size in specific regions known as Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) to estimate median incomes. Low income limits are based on 80% of the MSA’s median income, with very low income based on 50% and extremely low income based on 30%. States and other local entities use HUD’s data and other findings to define their own low income standards. Low income guidelines are applicable to both home financing and rental assistance and can vary according to program type, household size, and region of the country. There are differences between Section 8 guidelines for low income programs, public housing guidelines for low income programs, and low income guidelines for home buying.

Section 8 guidelines for low income programs

HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program is most commonly referred to as Section 8. This program offers financed funds to low income individuals and families who are renting housing that is owned privately. HUD releases Section 8 income guidelines on a yearly basis and their most current limits can be found on their website.

Section 8 limits can vary by state and county. Typically, areas with a high cost of living have higher low income limits than less expensive areas of the country. In California, where the cost of living tends to be higher, the 2014 low income limits for Section 8 ranged from $38,150 to $54,500. These values were dependent on the size of a family in that state. In Alabama, where cost of living tends to be lower, the 2014 limits ranged from $30,300 to $43,000.

Public housing guidelines for low income programs

HUD also determines limits for nationwide public housing assistance programs. Public housing has a different set of guidelines from Section 8, because it involves government owned housing. However, the same HUD low-income guidelines apply to both public housing and subsidized rental assistance programs. You must meet HUD’s annual income limit based on household size and county to live in a public housing development. You must meet the same requirements to receive financial assistance to cover the rent as well. HUD reviews the income of its participants on a regular basis to determine whether or not they are still eligible to receive assistance.

Low income guidelines for home buying

Low income home buyers may receive grants or funds to cover down payments and closing costs. States and other local jurisdictions run home buyer assistance programs as well. These entities often use HUD’s annual low income limits to determine eligibility. Homeowners may also be able to receive funding to cover home building, repairs, and renovations. There is typically a limit on the maximum home price and type of mortgage that someone is eligible to obtain with assistance. For example, the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency finances the greater of 5% of a home’s price or up to $5,000. The limits for low income will vary depending on the location of the home and the given assistance program.

Hope Housing Foundation (HOPE) is a nonprofit organization based in Texas. We are focused on creating and preserving affordable workforce housing for low income to mid-range income individuals, couples, and families in the area. We are also committed to community development and are involved in a number of community initiatives including resident services, educational scholarships, and other activities. We believe these programs enhance the lives of the residents and greater community that we serve. To learn more about our services or to become a partner with us, call us today at (214) 842-8075. You can also Contact Us by email for more information.

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