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Eligibility for Section 8 Housing Vouchers is determined by local Public Housing Authorities based upon the total annual income and family size. In most areas, the family income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area where the family lives. Family assets are also taken into account when determining eligibility.

Public Housing Authorities are legally required to provide 75% of their vouchers to residents whose incomes are less than 30% of the area median income.

After the local Public Housing Authority verifies your information, they will generally add you to their waiting list, unless their waiting list is closed. In some locations, such as New York City, the local Public Housing Authority has emergency categories for Section 8 assistance that bypass the often years-long-waitlist. These categories can include victims of domestic violence, people in witness protection programs, or other local programs designed to give aid to the neediest.

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