A Guide to Section 8 Housing in Arizona

The Arizona Public Housing Authority operates the Section 8 housing program to provide shelter for low-income households. This post answers essential questions about the program. Take a look.

What Is Section 8 Housing in Arizona?

Section 8 is a low-income housing program. The local public housing agency (PHA) oversees this administrative plan, providing three ways for income-eligible households to find affordable housing units. These three main programs include:

  1. Tenant-based Section 8: Also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, people mostly refer to this when discussing Section 8. The Mesa Housing Authority administers it, and you would pay about 30% of your monthly income for rental subsidies in the private housing market. You can still use your Section 8 voucher if you move to another city or state with a PHA to service the voucher, such as New York.
  2. Project-based Section 8: This rental assistance Arizona program allows tenants to rent in a specific private building. These buildings have landlords who have agreed to reserve apartments in their rental property for low-income households.
  3. Section 8 Homeownership: Some PHAs offer this program to let you buy a home and meet its relevant expenses. Most households that qualify for this program have a disabled member.

How Does the Section 8 Housing Program Work in Arizona?

The PHA under the Phoenix housing department will determine eligible households from those that have applied for housing assistance. At the same time, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development will administer PHA funds. The local PHA will then distribute housing choice vouchers to eligible families.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for Section 8 in Arizona?

You must meet at least seven eligibility qualifications for this housing assistance option. Here are the standard Section 8 requirements:

  1. Income Qualifications: When you apply for Section 8 housing assistance in Arizona, your local housing authority will assess your household income and size. You must classify as having very low income to be part of the program. This classification requires that you earn up to 50% of your area’s median income.
  2. Family Status: General guidelines of a “family” include having at least one member over age 62, having a family member with a disability, having multiple members with or without children, or being a displaced household, a tenant from a household that obtained Section 8 assistance before, or a single person who meets none of these criteria.
  3. Disabilities: You would have priority if a member of your family is disabled. Be sure to provide medical evidence that the member in question lives with a disability. See the Arizona Center for Disability Law for more information on disabilities in the state.
  4. Citizenship: Everyone in your household must be a U.S. citizen or have proper documentation of approved immigration status.
  5. Criminal Record: Section 8 housing assistance requires low-income families to have no members with a history of criminal activity. Moreover, individuals convicted of making methamphetamines in public housing and registered sex offenders are prohibited from participating in the program.
  6. Eviction History: Your PHA will look into how well you abided by the tenant rules and regulations before qualifying you for the Section 8 housing choice voucher program. They will then review your rent payment history and connect with your previous landlords.
  7. Residence Status: You must provide eligible documentation that you live within the jurisdiction of your PHA.

How Can I Apply for Section 8 Housing in Arizona?

You can apply for Section 8 housing in Arizona by visiting your local PHA. You may apply to more than one PHA, as there are agencies with long waiting lists. Upon successful application, your PHA can provide a list of locations where you can use your housing voucher.

How Is the Section 8 Waiting List Determined in Arizona?

The Arizona Section 8 waiting list usually depends on a lottery system that determines who is more in need of housing assistance. However, you may receive preference if you have a family member with a disability or is a veteran of the armed forces. In addition, PHAs prioritize households that live in their immediate area. Be sure to update your contact information in case a PHA connects with you.

What Are the Responsibilities of Section 8 Tenants in Arizona?

Section 8 tenants must follow the specific rules that their local PHA establishes, including:

  1. Live in the designated rental unit.
  2. Pay rent on time.
  3. Pay the security deposit.
  4. Report any changes in family status.
  5. Report any changes in income.
  6. Follow the terms of the lease.
  7. Don’t allow guests to stay for over 14 consecutive days.
  8. Request approval for new roommates.
  9. Allow PHA inspections.
  10. Avoid illegal activity.

What Are the Rights of Section 8 Tenants in Arizona?

Section 8 tenants enjoy the rights of other tenants under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act and the Fair Housing Act.

What Is the Maximum Amount a Section 8 Tenant Can Be Charged in Arizona?

Under the Section 8 program, landlords can charge up to 30% of a tenant’s adjusted household income.

What Are the Rights of Section 8 Landlords in Arizona?

Section 8 landlords must also follow the rules that other landlords in the state must comply with, including providing a safe and sanitary home.

How Is the Section 8 Voucher Amount Determined in Arizona?

How much a Section 8 tenant can get from their voucher will depend on the area’s fair market rent.

How Often Is the Section 8 Voucher Amount Adjusted in Arizona?

The Section 8 voucher amount adjusts annually to consider increases in income due to employment.

What Is the Role of the Local Housing Authority in Arizona’s Section 8 Program?

The Arizona Housing Department’s PHAs oversee the Section 8 program at the local level.

What Are the Differences Between the Section 8 Program and Other Affordable Housing Options in Arizona?

What separates the Section 8 program from other affordable housing options in Arizona is the strict eligibility requirements for tenants. Generally, there is an income limit for those looking for subsidized housing options in this program.

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