The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds and oversees the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. If you receive Section 8 assistance, you can use a federal subsidy to cover the portion of your private market rent that exceeds 30 to 50 percent of your household income. You follow the same general process to apply for the Section 8 program in Summerville, South Carolina, as you do elsewhere in the country.
Review the Income Limits
Refer to HUD's income limits for the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area. HUD releases new income limits every year (see "Resources"). To qualify for Section 8 assistance, your household income cannot exceed 50 percent of your area's median income. As of 2018, 50 percent of the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metro's median equals $33,550 for a family of three and $37,250 for a family of four.
Check on the Waiting List
Contact the Charleston County Housing & Redevelopment Authority (CCHRA) at 843-722-1942. CCHRA administers the Section 8 program for residents of Summerville, South Carolina. Ask about the status of the authority's Section 8 waiting list. As of October 2010, CCHRA's Section 8 waiting list is closed. CCHRA will place notice in local newspapers when it plans on reopening the wait list, according to its website.
Fill Out an Application
Complete an application when the waiting list reopens. The application asks for basic information about all household members, including monthly income. You can access CCHRA's application at its website (see "Resources").
Check Your Eligibility
Confirm your eligibility when your name reaches the top of CCHRA's waiting list. A CCHRA representative will contact you to set up an eligibility interview. At this meeting, you must verify the information you provided on your application. For example, you can use birth certificates and Social Security numbers to verify the identities of all household members.
You can produce tax returns, pay check stubs and bank account information to document income. When CCHRA approves your application, it will issue you a Section 8 subsidy voucher.
When both waiting lists are open, you can apply for Section 8 housing and the separate public housing program concurrently. By doing so, you might be able to obtain subsidized housing in Summerville faster.
HUD requires public housing agencies, including CCHRA, to provide three-quarters of their Section 8 subsidies to families with earnings at or below 30 percent of their area's median. As of 2018, 30 percent of the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metro's is $20,780 for a three-person household.
As a writer since 2002, Rocco Pendola has published numerous academic and popular articles in addition to working as a freelance grant writer and researcher. His work has appeared on SFGate and Planetizen and in the journals "Environment & Behavior" and "Health and Place." Pendola has a Bachelor of Arts in urban studies from San Francisco State University.