Everything You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing in Delaware

If you make less than 50% of the median income, you can qualify for Section 8 housing vouchers in Delaware.
Written by Matthew Lynaugh
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Families with an income of less than 50% of Delaware, Ohio’s median income are eligible for Section 8 housing vouchers, which authorize the federal government to pay a portion of the household’s rent.
Created in 1978, The Housing Choice Voucher Program, also known as Section 8, was designed to provide housing to low- and moderate-income families in the private market. 
Navigating the Section 8 program in
Ohio
can seem very complicated. Between extensive documentation, long wait times, and specific qualifications, finding Section 8 housing can feel like an incredibly daunting task.
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What is Section 8 housing?

Section 8 is a federally subsidized program created to help low-income families, as well people who are elderly or have a disability, pay for affordable housing. The name comes from Section 8 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 when the housing voucher system was created. 
Here’s how the Section 8 program works:
  • Tenants can apply to their local housing authority for housing choice vouchers or project-based vouchers to qualify for rental assistance 
  • Housing choice vouchers enable tenants to live in any apartment that meets the specified requirements on the voucher 
  • Project-based vouchers are linked to specific properties and allow landlords to designate certain units as low-income dwellings 
  • Family size and composition determine the number of bedrooms on the housing vouchers
  • Tenants who apply for housing with a housing choice voucher can’t be required to pay more than 40% of the rent—the government pays the rest directly 

Section 8 obligations

Tenants, landlords, and local housing authorities all have unique responsibilities in the Section 8 program. Here’s a simple breakdown of each party’s designation:
Tenant
Landlord
Housing authority
Complete documents accurately
Screen tenants
Determine applicants’ eligibility and issue vouchers
Find suitable housing and complete all required paperwork before the voucher expires
Obey fair housing laws
Inspect each unit annually to ensure it meets housing quality standards
Pay rent promptly and attend all required appointments
Provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing
Reexamine the family’s composition and income every year
Notify the housing authority of any changes in income or family composition
Provide services agreed to in contracts between the tenant and PHA
Ensure that both tenants and landlords comply with program rules
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Key Takeaway If you are eligible for Section 8 housing, you will pay a percentage towards rent while the government covers the rest.
MORE: How to find cheap car insurance for young drivers

What are the requirements for Section 8 housing in Delaware?

Section 8 housing in Delaware is managed by the
Delaware Metropolitan Housing Authority
. The DMHA administers subsidized housing with funding provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Eligibility is determined by applicants’ total annual gross income, family composition, and citizenship status. Only legal U.S. citizens and non-citizens with eligible immigration status will be considered.
Next is your income, which cannot exceed 50% of the median household income in your area. By law, the DMHA must provide 75% of its vouchers to applicants that are deemed extremely low-income (below 30% of the area’s median income). HUD includes the following in income calculations: 
  • Wages
  • Business income
  • Interest
  • Welfare assistance
  • Social security benefits
  • Child support and alimony
As of 2020, the median household income in Delaware was $74,130. However, the exact income limits vary based on the size of your family.

How to apply for Section 8 housing in Delaware

Unfortunately, applications and the waiting list for Section 8 housing in Delaware are closed at this time. Waiting lists close when the demand for housing assistance exceeds the local housing options—long wait periods are quite common.
Public Housing Authorities can also assign preference to certain applicants. Families who are homeless or living in substandard housing, paying more than 50% of their income on rent, or are disabled can be given preference. Each local PHA has the discretion to establish its preferences, and eligible families would move to the top of the waiting list 
When applications open again, visit the
Delaware Public Housing Portal
to join the waiting list. Make sure to have all necessary information ready such as income, social security numbers, and contact information.

How to find Section 8 housing in Delaware

After you’ve received your voucher, the DMHA will give you a deadline to find suitable housing.
Affordable Housing
is a great resource to help you start your housing search.
Be sure to keep records and document everything from your housing search—this includes applications submitted, meetings with landlords, and anything else you feel is important. These records will help you apply for an extension if you have trouble finding housing.

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FAQs

The housing voucher choice program is designed to allow families to move without losing their assistance. Moves are permitted as long as proper notice is given to the local Public Housing Authority, the existing lease is terminated on time, and new suitable housing is found. If a family wishes to move to a different area under a new PHA’s jurisdiction, they must verify the move with their current PHA.
There are multiple requirements to be considered an eligible applicant for Section 8 housing. For starters, you must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen. If you are a non-citizen, you must have eligible immigration status. In addition, the household income must be less than 50% of your area's median income.
Section 8 will cover up to 60% of your rent. You will not be required to pay more than 40% of your income in rent under this program. The exact dollar amount will vary depending on your income, your family composition, and the fair market rent in your area.
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