The Utah government recognizes housing as one of the basic human needs. If you are unable
to find safe and decent housing with your money, Utah public housing authorities—through the
Federal Government’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)—are able to
provide Section 8 services to low-income households and help them find a good place to live.
What is Section 8?
Section 8, formally known as the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is designed to benefit
low-income, elderly, and disabled individuals and help them find a safe and decent home
outside of the usual public housing options. Consequently, Section 8 also compels landlords to
rent homes and apartments out to qualified tenants at fair market rates.
There are two types of rental subsidy under Section 8: project-based, wherein participants must
live in pre-approved subsidized housing; and tenant-based, where you’re free to find a rental
How Section 8 works
Once you qualify for the Housing Choice Voucher program, you will be given a voucher that you
can use to help you cover rent expenses anywhere in Utah. Typically, a voucher recipient only
has to cover 30% of their rent— the rest will be covered by the federal government.
But first, the rental should meet the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
guidelines. They will send a representative to inspect your chosen rental property. Alternatively,
you can check out pre-approved listings for a faster process.
If the property meets HUD standards, you will enter a lease contract with the landlord. They will
also enter an agreement with the local public housing agency (PHA) so they can collect the
A voucher, however, doesn’t grant you any special privileges or treatment. In order to keep your
lease, abide by your landlord’s rules.
How to qualify for Section 8
To qualify for Section 8 in Utah, you cannot earn more than the state’s income limit for the size
of your household. This is usually 50% or less of the median income where you live. Very low-
income families (those who earn 30% or less of the median income in their area), especially
older adults, disabled persons, and veterans, are prioritized.
Other requirements include:
● All members of the household must be a US citizen
● The household member applying for Section 8 must be at least 18 years old
● All adult members of the household must have no criminal record
● The applicant must have a satisfactory rental history without defaults or evictions.
Applying for Section 8
To apply for Section 8, begin by visiting the website of a public housing authority in your area.
Their website usually provides a downloadable application along with instructions on how to
proceed. Make sure to provide any additional paperwork and follow the instructions to the letter.
Most applicants get waitlisted, so join as many open waitlists as possible to increase your
chances of securing a voucher.
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