Everything You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing in Shreveport

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Households with incomes 50% or lower than Shreveport’s median income may be eligible for Section 8 housing assistance, which can help cover a portion of monthly rent costs for those who qualify.
The Section 8 program, established with the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, is intended to make housing more affordable for low-income families and people who are elderly or have disabilities.
While Section 8 can be an immense help for those who need rental assistance, navigating the program can be difficult, and local demand often outweighs available resources, making for long wait times for those who can receive assistance.
But don’t be discouraged just yet! Jerry, the super app that saves you money on car and renters insurance, has compiled this introductory guide to Section 8 housing in Shreveport, Louisiana. Read on to learn more about Section 8 requirements, what vouchers can be used for, and what the application process is like. 

What is Section 8 housing?

The purpose of the federal government’s Section 8 housing program is to make housing more affordable for people with very low incomes, including families and people who are elderly or have disabilities. Those who qualify for Section 8 have a portion of their rent paid by the government.
Section 8 came about when Congress passed the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, which amended the U.S. Housing Act of 1937. 
From December 2020 to March 2022, 753,762 households in the United States and 14,673 households in Louisiana have participated in public housing programs like Section 8. 
Here’s how Section 8 works: 
  • Those eligible for Section 8 can apply for rental assistance in the form of housing choice vouchers or project-based vouchers through their local public housing agency (PHA).
  • Housing choice vouchers let tenants live in a unit of their choice that meets the requirements specified on their vouchers. This will include the specific number of bedrooms the unit can have based on the household’s family size and composition.
  • Project-based vouchers are for specific properties that have been designated for low-income households. 
  • Those who receive housing choice vouchers have to pay at least 30% but not more than 40% of their monthly adjusted gross income toward rent and utilities. The remaining portion of rent will be paid by the government.

Section 8 obligations

Along with the Section 8 program come different responsibilities for tenants, landlords, and local PHAs. Those obligations include:
TenantLandlordHousing authority
Provide complete, accurate information in documentationScreen tenantsDetermine applicants’ eligibility, issue vouchers
Find suitable housing based on voucher requirements before expirationComply with housing lawsApprove units, rental amounts, and leases
Pay rent on timeComplete repairs and maintenance promptly as neededInspect subsidized units regularly
Let PHA know of changes to income or family compositionGive PHA documentation of any notices provided to tenants (including eviction notices)Ensure that tenants and landlords follow program requirements
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What are the requirements for Section 8 housing in Shreveport?

Section 8 housing is managed by local housing authorities—in Shreveport, that’s the Housing Authority of the City of Shreveport (HACS)
To qualify for Section 8 housing in Shreveport, you’ll need to meet federal requirements determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
That means you’ll need to be 18 years old or older and a U.S. Citizen or documented immigrant. If you’ve been evicted for a serious lease violation, especially ones related to criminal activity, your application could be rejected. Applications from convicted sex offenders will be denied.
To qualify for Section 8 housing assistance, your income can’t be more than 50% of your area’s median income. The Shreveport area has a median family income of $60,800 as of 2021, and 75% of a housing authority’s vouchers must go toward households with an income of 30% or lower than the area’s median income
HUD includes the following in its income calculations: 
  • Wages
  • Business income
  • Other net income
  • Social security benefits
  • Welfare assistance
  • Alimony, child support
For a more in-depth look at what is and isn’t included in income calculations to qualify for Section 8, take a look at this document
Income limits also depend on family size. Here’s a table that breaks down income limits for Shreveport by family size:
Family size12345678
Very low income (50%)$20,850$23,800$26,800$29,750$32,150$34,550$36,900$39,300
Extremely low income (30%)$12,880$17,420$21,960$26,500$31,040$34,550$36,900$39,300

How to apply for Section 8 housing in Shreveport

The first step toward getting rental assistance from the Section 8 program is to apply to HACS. You’ll want to be prepared to provide information and documentation of your income.
In January 2022, the HACS announced its offices are closed to the public as a COVID-19 precaution until further notice, so housing assistance applications will be handled via phone, email, and mail. 
If, after applying, it’s determined you meet the program’s requirements, you should receive a confirmation letter informing you you’re on the waiting list for assistance. 
Unfortunately, the demand for housing assistance often outweighs the resources available; PHAs may close their waiting lists when the number of families on the list is higher than the number they could assist in the near future. It’s not unusual for some applicants to remain on a waiting list for one or two years before being approved for housing assistance. 
Local housing agencies may also determine certain preferences for approving applicants on a waiting list, including households with children, applicants currently unhoused, or people who are elderly or have disabilities, among other factors.
While you’re on a waiting list, you’ll want to promptly notify the HACS of any changes to your address, income, or family composition.
Once you’re finally approved, you’ll receive a voucher and some additional paperwork, and then it’s time to find yourself some suitable housing.
Pro Tip In the case of long waiting lists, the HUD recommends considering applying to more than one PHA

How to find Section 8 housing in Shreveport

If you’ve received a housing choice voucher, make note of its expiration date—this is how long you’ll have to find suitable housing. Your voucher will also include certain specifications, like how many bedrooms your rental unit can have. 
To help you in your search, you can use Affordable Housing’s website or this resource locator map created by the HUD.
As you search for housing, make sure to document your steps along the way, including meetings with potential landlords. This can help show you’ve been making reasonable efforts to find a suitable rental if you need to apply for an extension. For more information on applying for extensions, contact the HACS. 
Once you settle on an apartment, send a copy of the lease agreement to the HACS and any other required paperwork that you received.
From there, the HACS will then inspect the property to confirm that it meets its requirements. 
You can find more information on housing choice vouchers on the HACS website.
Qualifying and applying for Section 8 can be a confusing and complicated process. For more information about the application process and eligibility requirements, you can contact the Section 8 office in Shreveport by calling 318-698-3600. You can also review these general Section 8 tips to help you navigate the process.

How to save money on car and renters insurance in Shreveport

Finding affordable housing can be a headache, to say the least. If you’re looking for other places to find savings on a limited budget, it might be worth taking another look at your car insurance policy. 
With the Jerry app, searching for those insurance savings has never been easier. All you have to do is enter your information, which takes less than a minute, and then Jerry will show you personalized quotes from top insurance providers.
Shreveport, Louisiana, residents pay an average of $2,912 per year on car insurance, but could you pay even less? It might be worth a try to find out—the average Jerry user saves an average of $887 per year on their car insurance! 
Plus, you could find additional savings by bundling with renters insurance
“When we added a new car to our family, we were shocked at how high our current insurer was going to hike our rates. We used Jerry for some comparison shopping and are now saving around $1000 a year. Thank you, Jerry!” —Darius P.
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FAQs

Section 8 program participants must pay at least 30% of their income toward rent, but not more than 40%. The government program will cover the remaining portion for those who qualify. 

How much is a 2 bedroom Section 8 voucher in Shreveport? 

For the 2022 fiscal year, the fair market rent for a 2-bedroom unit as determined by HUD is about $897.
Not necessarily, but Louisiana’s Open Housing Act (La. R.S 51:2601, et seq.) prohibits housing discrimination based on race, skin color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.

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