The Lakewood Township Residential Assistance Program (LTRAP) waiting list for Section 8 housing assistance opened today.
There are a number of factors families must take into account to ascertain whether they qualify for Section 8 benefits.
To be eligible for Section 8 housing assistance, an applicant family must fall within HUD income guidelines. For Section 8, this means that a family’s income must be below “50% of median” (Very Low Income). to view income tables please see the FAQ Section.
HUD requires that at least 75% of all new admissions to the Section 8 program must be from the “extremely low” income category, those whose income is at or below 30% of the area median income. The other 25% can be from households whose income is from the “very low” income category, at or below 50% of area median income. This means that while the family is eligible as long as it is within the “very low” income category, effectively, the family will get assistance much quicker if it is within the “extremely low” income category. This is due to the fact that for every one “very low” income category applicants that we assist, we assist three “extremely low” income category applicants.
When your name is reached on the waiting list, we will call you in to verify your eligibility by reviewing your income and assets to determine what income level fits your household. If you fall into the “extremely low” income category, we can help you right away. If your income falls into the “very low” income category we can only help you if your name is next on the very low income list. This lists moves slowly since we can only help one out of every four eligible households right away. You will be contacted when your name is reached. If we determine that your income is above the “very low” income limit, then you are ineligible to participate. This means that we cannot help you at all, and your name will be removed from the waiting list. However, if your income drops within six months of our determination of your ineligibility you may request a redetermination and a reinstatement. To do so you must contact our office immediately after your income drops, and we will recalculate your income to determine your eligibility for Voucher issuance. However, after six months have elapsed, even if your income drops, we cannot assist you. You would have to reapply.
Qualifying as a Family
Applicants must also qualify for eligibility as a “family.” Under LTRAP policy, families are composed of individuals who share a residence, whose income and resources are available to meet the family’s needs, and who have evidenced a stable family relationship. This can include both married and unmarried partners, related and unrelated individuals, single people, disabled people and the elderly.
For the Section 8 Program, the LTRAP Admissions Office limits applicant screening to a criminal background check. Applicants who have been determined to be income- and family-eligible are screened for criminal history in accordance with HUD regulations. Applicants who are found to have a criminal history including drugs and violence may be denied admittance to Section 8.
Private landlords renting to Section 8 subsidized participants are obligated to screen their own tenants. Depending on individual business practices, landlords may screen prospective Section 8 renters in such areas as prior rental history, credit history and references; as well as a further investigation of criminal history.