Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program FAQ
What is the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher
is a HUD-funded program wherein an eligible family receives assistance
Housing Authority towards the purchase of a home. Before
the implementation of the
Homeownership program, an assisted family used its voucher housing
towards renting a unit; now the family can use its voucher assistance
a mortgage when purchasing a home.
What are the eligibility requirements?
are HUD requirements which all housing authorities must use. There are also Housing Authority
requirements; HUD allows housing authorities to establish their own
requirements in addition to HUD's mandatory requirements.
for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.
income requirement - annual income not less than federal minimum wage
multiplied by 2,000 hours (except disabled and elderly)
employment requirement - one or more adults who will own the home is
employed full-time (not less than average 30 hours per week) and has
employed during the year before homeownership assistance.
previous default on a mortgage under the Homeownership Program.
family member has ownership interest in a residence.
pre-homeownership and housing counseling.
Family has entered into a Contract of Sale.
has had no family-caused violations of HUD's Housing Quality Standards
the last one year period.
is not within the initial one year period of a HAP contract.
does not owe money to the HACNLV.
has not committed any serious or repeated violation of a
within the past one year period.
I have to be a participant in the Housing Authority's Family
- but the Housing Authority gives a preference to FSS participants who
contributing to their escrow accounts, which means that these FSS
have the first chance to be offered the
program. However, if there are
not enough FSS participants eligible for the program, the next groups
offered the program will be in the following order:
Other families who are participating in
programs in other federal , state or local
agencies; or state
Other families currently participating in
Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher
have been under the
program for at least two years;
other applicant or participating families
(Rental) Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher
How do I know if I'm ready for
a home is a big responsibility. It is
important that you understand those responsibilities before you look
a homebuyer. It is a HUD requirement
that you take an approved homeownership counseling course prior to
home. You should also first clear up any
credit problems and save enough money so you can make a down payment.
What kind of paperwork is involved?
First, in order for the Housing Authority to determine your eligibility
program, it will be requiring you to complete various eligibility,
and other related forms. Secondly,
you go through the process of locating a home to purchase and of
financing, any real estate professionals and lending institution you
working with will require various forms for you to fill out. Also, the H/A will need reports on your
How much money, at the minimum, do I have to
come up with?
program requires a minimum down payment of three percent (3%) of the
price, one percent (1%) of which must come from your own resources.
also closing costs and pro-rated expenses such as document fee,
title insurance, pro-rated interest, etc.
The title company which will handle your escrow can help you
Will the Housing Authority help me with
financing my home?
you mean financing by means of a loan or mortgage to purchase your
home, NO –
you have to obtain your own financing from a lender. The
Housing Authority will assist you in the purchase by referring you to
and lenders who may have programs that can help you with down payment
closing cost assistance. But the Housing
Authority will give your homeownership assistance after you purchase
Do I have to have good credit?
can't have bad credit if you want to buy a home. But
if you do, the homeownership counseling
you have to go through may include cleaning up your previous bad credit. Different lenders have different ways of
evaluating your credit.
Can my family help me buy the home?
your family can assist you with your down payment or other expenses. However, under HUD regulations for this
program, a non-occupying co-borrower cannot own an interest in the
other words, they cannot hold title to the home.
10. Can I have a roommate?
No. Under the standard family obligations for use
and occupancy for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, no
except members of the assisted family may reside in the unit except for
foster child or live-in aide.
Furthermore, the family cannot sub-lease the unit.
realtor or banks can I use to assist me?
can use any realtor or lender of your own choosing.
The Housing Authority or your homeownership
counselor cannot require you to use a specific realtor or lender. There are many realtors and lenders in town
who have expressed their interest in helping Housing Authority clients.
remember: your type of financing must be approved by the Housing
12. Am I limited as to how much I may pay
amount you are able to pay for a home depends on your total income and
use different methods of qualifying a prospective homebuyer. The lender will pre-qualify you for a loan
based on your income and other financial information regarding your
family. It is important that you
pre-qualification before you begin shopping for a home.
13. If I am eligible only
for a 1-bedroom voucher,
can I buy a 2-bedroom or 3-bedroom house?
you can buy a house whose bedroom size
is larger than the unit
that your family qualifies for but the Payment
Standard on which
homeownership assistance will be based will
be the lower of the
Standard for the family unit size
and the Payment Standard
the size of the home. In this case, your
Payment Standard will be
on a 1-bedroom unit not on a 2-bedroom or
3-bedroom unit. In
cases, a house with more bedrooms will
cost more and therefore,
have a higher mortgage payment. So since
the Housing Authority’s
will be based on a 1-bedroom unit, your
portion of the
payment will be higher for a larger size
home. If you can
a larger house (meaning a lender would
qualify you for a larger
at a greater mortgage payment), then you
may do so. The
of family portion to 40% of income does not
apply to the
Once I have purchased a home under this
program, do I have to be
under Section 8 each year?
Yes. You will still need to be recertified. You still need to submit all the paperwork
required under the regular (Rental) program.
There is a "Statement of Family Obligations" that you will be
required to sign before you begin receiving homeownership assistance
will need to comply with those obligations.
15. Does the Housing Authority need to
the home I wish to buy?
Yes. You will be required to submit the Purchase
Agreement to the HACNLV. The unit cannot
be an "assisted unit", nor a nursing home or
similar facility, nor a dormitory or public facility. It must already be existing or under
construction at the time of the family's eligibility.
It must also be a one-unit property or a
single dwelling unit in a cooperative or condominium.
Furthermore, the home will be subject to two
have to arrange for an independent professional inspection and the
Authority will also conduct a Housing Quality Standards (HQS)
like the HQS inspection under the regular (Rental) program.
16. Is there a deadline for me to locate and
Yes. From the date you are determined eligible for
the program, you have six (6) months to locate a home.
After you locate a home, you have ten (10)
working days to obtain financing. From
that same date, you also have ninety (90) days to actually complete the
purchase of the home. So, in total, you
have nine (9) months from the date you are determined eligible to
whole process. After that period, if you
fail to purchase a home, your participation will be terminated. The Housing Authority will then move on to
other interested families and give them an equal chance to qualify and
17. Will I be responsible for other expenses
result of purchasing a home?
Yes. You are responsible for all monthly related
homeownership expenses such as association dues, if any.
You will also be responsible for repairs such
as water heater repair or replacement, air conditioning repair,
or other repairs as normal homeowners have to incur from time to time.
18. What can I do if I have trouble paying
mortgage or maintaining my home?
is one of the reasons why it is required that you attend ongoing
counseling as long as you are assisted under this program.
You must understand that once you have
purchased your home, you are responsible for the debt incurred in
19. How do I make my mortgage payments to
will pay your portion of the mortgage to the lender and the Housing
will send its portion (homeownership assistance) directly to the lender. Or your portion and the Housing Authority’s
portion may be paid to an escrow service who
make the entire payment to the lender.
20. What happens if I default on my mortgage
fail to comply with my family obligations under this program?
homeownership assistance will be terminated.
You will lose your home and you will not be eligible for
21. How long will the Homeownership Program
(15) years if your mortgage is twenty (20) years or longer; ten (10)
all other cases. These maximum terms do
not apply to a disabled or elderly family.
22. What happens if my income increases and
the same rules as in the Rental Program apply.
Your homeownership assistance will be zero but you can remain on
Homeownership program for six (6) more months.
After that, you will be terminated from the entire Section 8
23. Can I sell my home?
Yes. However, the program has a
"recapture" requirement if you sell your home during the first 10-year
period. There is a formula for
calculating the amount to be recaptured.
The recaptured amount decreases by 10% each year.
program requires that a Notice of Lien be recorded when you purchase
and the lien is effective for 10 years.
Therefore, you will not be able to sell your home without
lien for the amount that must be recaptured.
happens to my home if I die?
regulation states: "Upon death of a family member who holds, in whole
in part, title to the home, homeownership assistance may continue
settlement of the decedent's estate, notwithstanding transfer of title
operation of law to the decedent's executor or legal representative as
the home is solely occupied by remaining family members in accordance
other words, questions need to be asked: Is there a will?
Are there remaining members of the
family? Are there additional owners
listed on the deed? Depending on the
answers, the home may revert to those remaining members as defined by
regulations of the family who were residing in the home.
The home may have to be sold: if no one is
able to take title and payments are not made, the home may fall into
foreclosure. One thing is important: if
the homeowner dies, the Housing Authority must be notified immediately.
I “switch back” to the regular Rental program after I have purchased a
under this program?
but you have to first sell your home; this is if you are voluntarily
your homeownership assistance to go back to rental assistance.
26. What if I failed to
pay for my mortgage, can I
go back to the regular Rental program?
you defaulted on an FHA-insured mortgage, the Housing Authority is
HUD to terminate your homeownership assistance.
your home was foreclosed upon, whether it has an FHA or non-FHA
the Housing Authority will terminate your homeownership assistance.
Housing Authority has the discretion on whether to permit you to return
assistance. It will not give you its
permission if you did not cooperate with the mortgage company in
house sold or getting it returned to HUD and did not move out as you
which made foreclosure necessary and action had to be taken to evict
the home. In this case, you cannot go
back to receiving rental assistance.
the rules under the Section 8 Rental program apply to me when I
the Homeownership Program?
YES. For example, if you fail to appear
or supply the required information for your annual re-examination, or
if you or
your family engage in crime and drug-related activities, or if you
by not properly declaring your income, etc – the consequences in the
program will still apply to you in the Homeownership program. What would terminate a family’s rental
assistance can also cause termination of homeownership
assistance. Unless specified by HUD that a
regulation does not apply to the Homeownership Program, Section 8
will apply to both the Rental and the Homeownership
questions may be answered by referring to HUD's regulations contained
in 24 CFR Part 982 and/or the Housing Authority's Section 8