Everything You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing in Corpus Christi

For households in Corpus Christi that have an income of 50% or less of the local median income, the Section 8 housing program can be a huge help.
Written by Melanie Krieps Mergen
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
background
For qualifying households in
Corpus Christi
that have an income of 50% or less of the local median income, the Section 8 housing program, which helps cover a portion of rent expenses, can be a huge help.
Unfortunately, the Section 8 program can be difficult to navigate, and wait times can feel like an eternity.
To help make that process a little easier,
car
and
renters insurance
comparison app
Jerry
is here to give you the rundown on Section 8 housing in Corpus Christi, Texas. Read on to learn about what Section 8 is, what income limits look like, and what to keep in mind while you search for a rental.
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What is Section 8 housing?

The Section 8 housing program is a federal program that can help make rent expenses more affordable for low-income families and people who are elderly or have disabilities. For those who qualify, the federal government covers a portion of rent costs. 
The Section 8 program was established when Congress passed the 1974 Housing and Community Development Act, which amended the Housing Act of 1937.
From December 2020 to March 2022, 753,762 households in the United States and 31,681 households in Texas were receiving assistance from public housing programs.
In a nutshell, this is how Section 8 works: 
  • Eligible households can apply for housing choice vouchers or project-based vouchers for rental assistance via their local housing authority
  • Housing choice vouchers allow tenants to pick an apartment that meets the requirements specified by the voucher, while project-based vouchers are connected to a specific property designated as a low-income unit
  • The housing authority assigns vouchers that note a specific number of bedrooms determined by family size and composition
  • Tenants who receive a housing voucher must pay 30% of their monthly adjusted gross income for rent and utilities. If a household moves into a rental where rent is more than their payment standard, they can’t pay more than 40% of their income for rent

Section 8 obligations

Tenants, landlords, and local housing authorities each have their own
responsibilities
under Section 8, which include:
Tenant
Landlord
Housing authority
Provide accurate and complete documentation
Screen tenants
Determine applicants’ eligibility, issue vouchers
Find appropriate housing and complete necessary paperwork before the voucher expires
Comply with fair housing laws
Approve units, rental amounts, and leases
Pay rent on time, attend all required appointments
Complete necessary repairs and maintenance
Inspect subsidized units
Notify the housing authority of any changes in income or family composition
Provide housing authority with documentation of any notices to tenants, including eviction notices
Make sure tenants and landlords comply with program rules
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What are the requirements for Section 8 housing in Corpus Christi?

Section 8 housing in Corpus Christi is managed by the
Corpus Christi Housing Authority (CCHA)
. To receive Section 8 assistance, you’ll have to meet federally-established requirements determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 
That means you’ll have to be 18 or older and a U.S. citizen or documented immigrant. If you’ve been evicted for a serious lease violation, like drug-related criminal activity, your application may be rejected. Convicted sex offenders’ applications will be rejected as well. 
Additionally, your income must be 50% or less of the median income in your area. When calculating income, HUD includes the following: 
  • Wages
  • Welfare assistance
  • Social security benefits
  • Alimony/child support
  • Business income
  • Interest
For more information on what is and isn’t included to calculate your income amount, take a look at
the list found here
As of 2021, the median household income in Corpus Christi is $57,8387. Income requirements to cover Section 8 housing assistance will vary depending on your family size. Additionally, per federal requirements, at least 75% of housing choice vouchers must be given to households at or below 30% of Corpus Christi’s median income.
Here are what income limits by family size look like in Corpus Christi (effective June 1, 2021): 
INCOME LIMITS BY FAMILY SIZE
Family size
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
LOW-INCOME (80%)
$38,850
$44,400
$49,950
$55,450
$59,900
$64,350
$68,800
$73,200
VERY LOW-INCOME (50%)
$24,300
$27,750
$31,200
$34,650
$37,450
$40,200
$43,000
$45,750
PRIORITY INCOME (30%)
$14,600
$16,650
$18,750
$20,800
$22,500
$24,150
$25,800
$27,500
In addition to family size and income level, local housing authorities might also give priority to candidates with certain circumstances—like households with children, disability status, or applicants who are currently homeless.

How to apply for Section 8 housing in Corpus Christi

To apply for tenant or project-based vouchers in Corpus Christi, you can fill out an application on the
CCHA website
If you meet the Section 8 program requirements, you’ll get a confirmation letter informing you that you’re on the waiting list. Unfortunately, your name could be sitting here a long time—it’s not unusual for some people who seek Section 8 assistance to stay on a waiting list for a year or two, but it’s not a bad idea to check in with the housing authority every few months or so to confirm your waitlist status.
While you’re on a waiting list, be sure to inform the CCHA promptly if there’s a change to your income, address, or family composition.
After you’ve submitted an application and have been selected by the CCHA for a
project-based voucher
, you’ll complete an online application interview, which will involve uploading documents related to your income, assets, and more. Afterward, CCHA will use that information to determine your eligibility. 
If you’re approved by the CCHA for a
housing choice voucher
, you’ll attend an orientation, where you’ll receive your voucher and information on how to use it.
Key Takeaway Section 8 housing assistance can help cover a significant portion of your rent costs if you qualify, but you might have to wait a while to get off the waiting list.

How to find Section 8 housing in Corpus Christi

Once you’ve received a housing choice voucher, the countdown is on to find an appropriate rental unit—so make note of the expiration date on your voucher. 
According to the CCHA, you can use your housing choice voucher anywhere in Nueces County
To aid in your search, you can use
AffordableHousing.com
or
HUD’s resource locator map
While you search for appropriate housing, it’s in your best interest to document everything during the process to show that you’re making an effort to find a place to live—including communications with landlords, applications submitted, and rental units viewed. 
The CCHA states that if you or your new landlord don’t agree on tenancy, or a unit doesn’t pass inspection, you can have the unexpired time on your voucher back to look for another unit.
After a unit has been inspected and approved, it’ll be inspected biennially. 

How to save money on car and renters insurance in Corpus Christi

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FAQs

How much assistance you can get from the Section 8 program will depend on different factors like your area’s median income, your income, and your family size. 
Tenants who receive a housing voucher must pay 30% of their monthly adjusted gross income for rent and utilities. If a household moves into a rental where rent is more than their payment standard, they can’t pay more than 40% of their income for rent.
For the 2022 fiscal year, the HUD considers $1,118 to be the fair market monthly rent for a two-bedroom unit in Corpus Christi.
Not necessarily. Some states have legislation that prohibits denying a tenant solely for their Section 8 status. However, in Texas, a ban on such prohibitions was
signed into law
in 2015 (but doesn’t apply to military veterans). Still, just because a prospective tenant qualifies for federal housing assistance doesn’t mean they’ll be unreliable—you’ll want to consider other aspects of their application as well.
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