Everything You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing in Baton Rouge

Section 8 Baton Rouge provides rental assistance to low-income families meeting income limits and other requirements.
Written by Jessie Devine
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
background
Section 8 housing in Baton Rouge,
Louisiana
, provides financial assistance to extremely-low and very-low-income families and individuals through the Housing Choice Voucher program. If you make less than 50% of Baton Rouge’s median income, you can apply to get on a waiting list when it opens.
Section 8 housing assistance is a voucher program whose goal is to provide access to housing to low-income households. In
Baton Rouge
, recipients will typically pay 30% of their gross monthly income toward rent and utilities, while the Section 8 voucher covers the rest. 
The Section 8 application process can be complicated and confusing. Fortunately,
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What is Section 8 housing?

The Section 8 housing program was created in the 1970s to assist low-income households who were struggling to pay rent. Its goal is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to people who couldn’t otherwise afford it, with extra consideration for
senior citizens
, disabled people, and families with children.
Also called the housing choice voucher program, Section 8 is administered by local public housing agencies. In Baton Rouge, that’s the East Baton Rouge Parish Housing Authority (EBRPHA). Housing authorities provide vouchers to approved tenants that allow the tenant to pay, by law, no more than 40% of their income towards rent.
Unfortunately, the need for vouchers exceeds their availability, so waitlists for assistance can be very long. The EBRPHA closes its waitlist to applications when it predicts it won’t be able to assist any more people in the near future.
The EBRPHA Section 8 waitlist is currently closed, but you may want to get prepared for when it opens. Here are some basics about Section 8 in Baton Rouge: 
  • First, find out if you’re eligible. We’ll cover that in a bit.
  • Visit the
    EBRPHA
    website to learn more about the waitlist and the application process.
  • EBRPHA provides assistance through housing choice vouchers, which allow you to choose any apartment, house, or townhome that meets the voucher’s requirements
  • Your family size will determine how many bedrooms your Section 8 dwelling can have.
  • People using a housing choice voucher can’t be required to pay more than 40% of their income in rent. In Baton Rouge, Section 8 tenants usually pay around 30%.
  • If the apartment’s rent costs more than this percentage, the federal government pays the remainder directly to the landlord. 

Section 8 obligations

Like any government program, Section 8 in Baton Rouge involves many rules, regulations, and red tape. Everyone in the program has to abide by these—landlords, tenants, and the EBRPHA. Take a look at the table below for an idea about each party’s obligations.
Tenant
Landlord
Housing authority
Provide accurate and complete documentation
Screen tenants
Determine applicants’ eligibility and issue vouchers
Find suitable housing and complete the required paperwork before the voucher expires
Comply with fair housing laws
Approve units, rental amounts, and leases
Pay rent promptly and attend all required appointments
Complete necessary repairs and maintenance
Inspect subsidized units annually
Notify the housing authority of any changes in income or family composition
Provide housing authority with documentation of any notices to the tenant, including eviction notices
Ensure that both tenants and landlords comply with program rules
Key Takeaway If you qualify for Section 8 housing in Baton Rouge, the EBRPHA will give you a voucher that covers a big portion of your rent—but expect to be on a waitlist for a long time before receiving it.
MORE:  5 ways to save hundreds of dollars on your car insurance premiums

What are the requirements for Section 8 housing in Baton Rouge?

If you’re looking for Section 8 housing assistance in Baton Rouge, you have to meet some requirements to qualify. You must be either a US citizen or documented immigrant who is 18 or older (if you have kids, that’s okay and may help prioritize your case). 
EBRPHA will not accept applications from any registered sex offender, and prior evictions—especially for drug use or methamphetamine manufacture—will hurt your case.
To qualify for Section 8 in Baton Rouge, your income can’t exceed 50% of the median income in the area—and priority will be given to households earning just 30% of the median income. The following sources count as income: 
  • Wages
  • Business income
  • Interest and dividends
  • Unemployment
  • Welfare assistance
  • Social security benefits
  • Alimony and child support
For more info on how HUD (the US Department of Housing and Urban Development) calculates income,
look at this list
. The current median income in Baton Rouge is $44,177. The specific income limits for your household will depend on your family’s size, which you can view in the table below.
Family size
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Extremely low income - 30%
$16700
$19050
$21960
$26500
$31040
$35580
$40120
$44660
Very low income - 50%
$27800
$31750
$35700
$39650
$42850
$46000
$49200
$52350
Low income - 80%
$44450
$50800
$57150
$63450
$68550
$73650
$78700
$83800

How to apply for Section 8 housing in Baton Rouge

Currently, it is not possible to apply for Section 8 in Baton Rouge because the waitlist is closed. Because of that, the local housing authority does not provide information on how to apply.
What you should do at this point is wait for the Section 8 housing waitlist to open. When EBRPHA determines that they will be able to offer more assistance soon, they open the waitlist. 
When the waitlist is opened, EBRPHA will announce it on the
agency’s website
and in local newspapers. The announcement will include the date(s), location(s), and all other information you’ll need to apply.

How to find Section 8 housing in Baton Rouge

There are a few ways to find Section 8 housing in Baton Rouge.
If you’re interested in living in one of Baton Rouge’s 12 Affordable Housing Communities, you should look on the EBRPHA
Affordable Housing Opportunities website
. In those 12 communities, there are 879 units. Three of the communities are dedicated to senior citizens and individuals with disabilities. You can also visit the
Affordable Housing
website, formerly known as GoSection8, and search by zip code in the area where you want to live.
Finally, remember that with the Housing Choice Voucher, you can rent from any landlord in Baton Rouge whose apartment or house meets the requirements. Some landlords may dislike the amount of regulation and paperwork they have to deal with, but it is illegal for someone to deny you housing just because you have a Section 8 voucher.
Key Takeaway Once you receive your voucher, you can choose from one of EBRPHA’s Affordable Housing communities, or rent from any landlord in Baton Rouge.

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FAQs

The exact dollar amount varies because Section 8 pays in percentages. Under federal law, you can’t be required to pay more than 40% of your income in rent and utilities, and the government will pay the rest.
The payment standard for a 2 bedroom under Section 8 in Baton Rouge is up to 110% of the Fair Market Rate. Right now, that’s $1,008.
As of 2020, is illegal discrimination to deny a tenant just because they’re using Section 8 or other public assistance in Louisiana. Landlords are required to accept Section 8 vouchers as income and evaluate prospective tenants as they would any other.
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