Assistance for Buying a Section 8 House

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development operates public assistance programs designed to increase housing standards and homeownership rates among American residents. HUD's Section 8 program provides monetary assistance to families moving into private residences from public housing units. Families may qualify for Section 8 housing aid by filing an application with their local public housing agency. This aid subsidizes the cost of living in a residence qualified through this program.

Section 8

Section 8 is a public program operated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide assistance for American homeowners who are searching for a new residence due to rehabilitation or demolition of their current public housing unit. This program offers housing vouchers to qualified public housing tenants to offset the cost of living in private properties because of relocation. Program eligibility is extended to first-time homeowners who meet minimum income and employment requirements.

Public Housing Agency

Families or individuals applying for Section 8 housing assistance must file the application with their local public housing agency. Public housing agencies receive funding from HUD that is used towards the Section 8 homeownership voucher program. Individual public housing agencies process Section 8 applications and determine eligibility for the program based on family size, income and assets. You can find your local public housing agency by visiting the official HUD website or by contacting your state's department of housing.

Eligible Expenses

Funding assistance available through the Section 8 housing program can be used towards various qualifying homeownership expenses. Most of the Section 8 funding is typically used towards monthly mortgage premiums and interest, mortgage insurance premiums and annual real estate taxes. Public housing agencies also include voucher allowances for routine maintenance, utilities and major repairs as qualified expenses. Section 8 funding can also be used towards renovations for disability access on a property if the public housing agency considers that renovation to be a reasonable accommodation for a Section 8 recipient.


The amount of Section 8 assistance is based on a family's income. Section 8 assistance subsidizes the cost of living so that a homeowner pays a maximum of 30 percent of his monthly income towards homeowner expenses. Section 8 assistance is applied for a total of 15 years for eligible families, although families with disabled members or elderly residents may qualify for longer time limits. Public housing agencies may have a waiting list for Section 8 assistance, although priority is typically given to homeless individuals, families paying more than 50 percent of their adjusted monthly income towards housing expenses or those who are involuntarily displaced.