Everything You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing in Fort Lauderdale

To qualify for Section 8 housing vouchers in Fort Lauderdale, your income needs to be 50% or less of the median income.
Written by Annette Maxon
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Updated on Apr 15, 2022
Section 8 housing in
Fort Lauderdale
, offers rental assistance for families that make 50% or less of the area’s median income. This government-funded program will cover up to 60% of your monthly rent.
Section 8 helps low-income earners, elderly, and disabled people afford decent housing. Since the 1970s, the Section 8 program has offered vouchers that authorize the U.S. government to cover the majority (or sometimes all) of tenants’ rent. 
Though the program offers incredible benefits for participants, navigating the application process often comes with extremely long wait times, paperwork, and overburdened systems. 
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What is Section 8 housing?

As part of the federal affordable housing program, Section 8 has been in place since 1974 with the Housing and Community Development Act.
Here’s a recap of the nuts and bolts of Section 8:
  • Eligible tenants may receive housing choice vouchers or project-based vouchers
  • With housing choice vouchers, tenants can live in an apartment of their choosing, so long as the residence fits the voucher’s specified qualifications
  • Project-based vouchers are more limited—this type can only be used for specific properties and permits landlords to set certain units aside as low-income dwellings
  • Your voucher will be assigned a certain number of bedrooms based on family size and composition
  • Tenants won’t be required to pay more than 40% of their income in rent—the government handles the remaining rent amount by paying the difference to the landlord

Section 8 obligations

Depending on whether you’re the tenant, landlord, or local housing authorities, your responsibilities will vary under Section 8. Here’s what each party is responsible for
Housing authority
Provide accurate and complete documentation
Screen tenants
Determine applicants’ eligibility and issue vouchers
Find suitable housing and complete all required paperwork before voucher expires
Comply with fair housing laws
Approve units, rental amounts, and leases
Pay rent promptly and attend all required appointments
Complete all 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 tenant, including eviction notices
Ensure that both tenants and landlords comply with program rules
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Key Takeaway If you qualify for Section 8 housing, the government will pay more than half of your rent—but you will deal with major wait times and be restricted to certain properties.

What are the requirements for Section 8 housing in Fort Lauderdale?

Section 8 housing in Fort Lauderdale is managed by the
Housing Authority for the City of Fort Lauderdale
Before you apply, be sure to review the requirements set for by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the HACFL. 
HUD has some basic requirements that applicants must meet in order to be eligible for Section 8 housing:
  • You and the residents in your household must be a family
  • Your household’s combined total income must be within the income limits
  • You need to have Social Security Numbers
  • You must hold U.S. citizenship or be an eligible immigrant
To qualify, your income must be 50% or less than your area’s median income. When calculating income, HUD includes the following: 
  • Wages
  • Business income
  • Interest
  • Welfare assistance
  • Social security benefits
  • Alimony and child support
Other types of income that aren’t listed above may sometimes impact your income total—visit HUD’s website for a
closer look at other factors
that can impact this amount. 
As of the 2020 census, Fort Lauderdale’s median household income is $64,313. However, the income limits you and your family must meet will vary depending on the number of people in your home. 
Consult the table below for a look at the qualifying income based on family size in Fort Lauderdale:
Family size
Very low income
Extremely low income
In addition to income, HACFL has their own
set of requirements
for applicants:
  • If you’ve previously been enrolled in the Section 8 program, you have not violated any family obligations (i.e., health issues in the family, need for additional care such as nursing or hospice, death, etc.) in the past three years
  • No one in your household has committed fraud, bribery, or any other criminal act considered the Section 8 housing program in the past five years
  • Unless there was good cause, you have not violated any of the FSS program requirements
  • You will pay in full any debt you owe to other housing authorities (if applicable)
  • No one in your household has been involved in drug-related or violent criminal activity in the past five years
  • In the past five years, you have not been evictedfrom public housing

How to apply for Section 8 housing in Fort Lauderdale

Applying for Section 8 housing in Fort Lauderdale requires multiple steps, starting with applying for a spot on the HACFL’s waiting list
Before filling out your application, check to see whether the HACFL has any available openings on the waiting list—since this list fills up quickly, the HACFL only accepts applications when there is an opening on the list in order to manage the volume of applications. 
Not sure how to check for openings? Public notices are printed in local newspapers and sent to public assistance agencies that are part of the HACFL network. 
Once the HACFL is accepting new applicants, submit your written application to the HACFL. This
application is available to be printed out online
or through public assistance agencies and the HACFL office, located at:
The Robert P. Kelley Building
500 West Sunrise Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
Your family will eventually reach the top of the waiting list and at this point, the HACFL will review your application to make sure you meet all HUD and local requirements. If you do, then you’ll receive a Section 8 housing voucher.
Keep in mind that if any changes occur in your family’s composition, income, or address, you are required to notify the HACFL within ten days of the change. If you don’t update the HACFL about any changes, you will be removed from the waiting list.

How to find Section 8 housing in Fort Lauderdale

After getting your voucher, you have 60 days to find approved housing. When you’re ready to start looking for places, head to
to search for units in your area. To expand your search, HUD provides an
interactive map online
As you’re looking for housing, keep in mind that the unit must be a registered participant in the Section 8 program. Once you’ve found a place that meets your family’s needs, submit a Request for Lease Approval (RFLA) to the HACFL—they must approve the lease in order to receive subsidized rental payments. 
If your RFLA is approved, the HACFL will begin sending rental payments directly to the landlord.

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