Application Instructions for South Carolina Section 8
In South Carolina residents who are unable to afford or find safe and sanitary housing can benefit from South Carolina Section 8 services. These are administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority (SC Housing). If your household includes someone who is elderly or disabled, then you will receive priority for housing services. The types of housing services available in South Carolina include the following:
- The Housing Choice Voucher program
Project-based Section 8 public housing
The Housing Choice Voucher program provide rental subsidies the adult household pay for rent in South Carolina. If you choose this program for your section make assistance then you will be required to find your own housing. For some households, this will mean staying in your current house while receiving Section 8 services. However, your landlord must be an eligible participant in the Housing Choice Voucher program. Additionally, your current residence must pass HUD guidelines for safe and sanitary housing. By receiving the Housing Choice Voucher, you will be able to reduce your rental expenses. This will allow you to pay only up to 30 percent of your household income toward rent. The subsidy will cover the remaining portion.
If you qualify and are approved for Section 8 public housing this provides you with a housing unit for low income households. Your rent rate is predetermined by the housing unit. However, this rate ensures you will not pay more than 30% of your household income on rent. Some housing units may also come with utility subsidies to help pay for your utility costs. You do not have an option on which public housing unit you will get to live in. Additionally, if you move out of the unit your Section 8 benefits will stop.
In order to received either of these Section 8 housing assistance programs you will need to qualify and then apply to a waitlist.
Who can Qualify for Section 8?
Qualifying for Section 8 in South Carolina requires meeting certain requirements. The most crucial requirement is your income level. Recipients must not exceed the low-income limit for their household size. Verify your income limit according to your household to determine if you pass this part of the qualifying test.
Other requirements include:
- You must be a resident currently living in South Carolina.
- You and those living in your household are US citizens or naturalized resident with permanent status.
- You are over 18 to apply for your household.
- Everyone who is of able-bodied status, i.e. not elderly or disabled, is required to show proof of income and residency.
- You must all pass a criminal background check and not have any sexual or drug convictions on your record.
- You have a good rental history including, if applicable, a rental history with Section 8 services.
If you meet these qualifications then you are likely to be approved for the Section 8 services. However, the next step is to be placed on a waitlist, and this can be a lengthy process as there is limited funding for Section 8 services.
How to Apply
To get started with the application process for South Carolina Section 8 you will need to get an application for a waitlist. In South Carolina there are the following waitlists:
- Seven waitlists are currently open for the South Carolina Housing Choice Voucher program.
- 35 waitlists are available for the public housing program, while most are open now.
When you apply to a waitlist you will be required to show documentation to prove your household size and income. If there is an interview with a PHA representative you will be required to comply with this requirement. However, if you are unable to attend the meeting in person, i.e. you are disabled or need assistance, then you may be able to complete the interview over the phone.
If you are selected for the Housing Choice Voucher program you have 90 days to find affordable housing in South Carolina that meets Section 8 requirements.
To learn more about the Section 8 program in South Carolina contact the HUD Columbia Field Office.