99. Section 8

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Section 8 is also called the housing choice voucher program. Very poor families, the elderly, and disabled people can get up to about 2,000 dollars a month to help pay rent in single-family homes and apartments. Families who qualify do not get a completely free ride though. In order to qualify, you must be able to pay about 30 percent of the rent yourself. The rest of the rent is paid directly by the government to a landlord. Not all landlords accept Section 8. If you qualify for Section 8, it is your responsibility to find a landlord who accepts the program.

Eligibility for the program depends on your annual income and how many people are in your family. To qualify you have to be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident of the U.S. If you are undocumented or have a tourist visa, you cannot apply for this program. Like with all public housing programs, you will have to fill out an application to see if you qualify. On the application you will have to say how much money you make, how much money you have in the bank, and how many people are in your family. You will have to give proof of how much you make. The government will ask to speak to your boss, see your bank statements and proof that you pay taxes.

If you qualify, you will probably be put on a waiting list. Section 8, like other public housing programs, has many people applying for them. You could be waiting many years before you actually get a voucher, which is like a coupon that says how much rent the government is willing to pay for you. If a landlord accepts you and your Section 8 voucher, you still have to sign a lease, or rental contract.

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