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There are many programs available though the Federal government from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that help subsidize, and often completely pay for, tenant housing. The most common type of housing assistance is Section 8. The housing authority issues individuals with limited incomes vouchers that pay the rent completely. There are stringent guidelines and restrictions that apply to anyone applying for housing under this program.
Only a limited number of apartment communities accept this type of assistance. Though the assistance fully pays for the housing, apartment communities still have income requirements that need to be met, as well as other qualifying requirements.
The majority of properties that allow Section 8 vouchers still require verification that there is enough income coming into the household to pay for utilities. The standard income requirement for someone with a Housing Voucher is two times the monthly rent amount. Other qualifying restrictions include a positive rental history and no criminal history. Typically, the tenant already has been screened for criminal history prior to receiving the voucher, but properties will still run their own criminal background check.
There are other programs available to individuals that don’t require or is not eligible for Section 8. This is called “affordable housing”. With affordable housing apartments, not only do they typically allow the section 8 vouchers, but they allow people that make less than the normal required amounts to rent apartments.
Section 8 income restrictions are dependent on size of the household. and range from Very Low to Low income limits. In Austin, for a household of one, the range is from $15,850 to $42,250, for two it's $18,100 to $48,250, for three it's $20,350 to $54,300 and for four it's $23,850 to $60,300.