Everything You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing in Indianapolis

Section 8 housing vouchers are available to Indianapolis families and individuals who make 50% or less of the median income.
Written by Abbey Orzech
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Section 8 in
Indianapolis
offers rental assistance to families and individuals who make 50% or less of the median income in the area. Participants who receive vouchers will pay no more than 40% of their adjusted monthly income in rent while the government covers the rest. 
The Section 8 housing program was created to provide very low income families with housing assistance in the private rental market. Voucher holders are able to select any housing unit of their choice as long as it meets the requirements set by the Indianapolis Housing Authority. 
While this program is extremely beneficial for participants, navigating the application and housing search processes can be confusing and stressful. That’s why
Jerry
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super app
for renters and
car insurance
, put together this guide on Indianapolis Section 8 housing.

What is Section 8 housing?

Section 8 of the 1974 Housing and Community Development Act was enacted to provide assistance with housing and rent to families and individuals with low or very low income. Participants in this program can find safe, decent housing that won’t cost them more than 40% of their adjusted monthly income. 
Here’s how Section 8 works: 
  • Eligible persons can apply for the Section 8 housing program through their local housing authority. 
  • The housing authority considers applicants’ family size and composition when determining the type of voucher the applicant is eligible for.
  • When the application is approved and the voucher size determined, the participant will select a housing unit that suits their specific needs. 
  • The housing authority will schedule an inspection of the selected unit and determine a fair rental price. If both are approved, the tenant is clear to move in with rent and utility payments adding up to no more than 40% of their adjusted monthly income. 

Section 8 obligations

In the Section 8 housing program, tenants, landlords, and the local housing authority all have responsibilities to fulfill:
Tenant
Landlord
Housing authority
Provide full and correct 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 once a year
Notify the housing authority of any changes in income or family condition
Provide housing authority with documentation of any notices to tenant, including eviction notices
Ensure that tenants and landlords abide by program rules
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Key Takeaway Participants of the Section 8 voucher program can find safe and decent housing with a portion of their rent paid for by the government. 

What are the requirements for Section 8 housing in Indianapolis?

The
Indianapolis Housing Agency (IHA)
handles Section 8 housing for Indianapolis residents, but there are criteria outlined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that applicants must meet to be considered eligible. 
Eligible participants must be at least 18 years old, hold U.S. citizen or documented immigrant status, and make 50% or less of the area’s median income. 
Qualifying individuals and all household members 18 years old and up will have to pass a criminal background check including a review of any violent, drug-related, or sex-offending crimes. 
The IHA will also encourage property owners to check a potential tenant’s rental history, though the housing authority will not do it themselves. 
The HUD uses multiple elements to calculate your household’s total income. Here are some qualifying income sources: 
  • Wages
  • Business income
  • Interest
  • Welfare assistance
  • Social security benefits
  • Alimony and child support
Everything that could be considered income is included in
this list created by the HUD
.
Indianapolis’s median household income was $50,813 in 2021, but the exact income limit placed on applicants will depend on your household’s family size and composition. Those making 50% or less of the adjusted median income can qualify for Section 8 housing. 
The chart below will break down qualifying incomes based on your household’s family size and composition:
Family size
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Very low income (50%)
$28,600
$32,650
$36,750
$40,800
$44,100
$47,350
$50,600
$53,900
Extremely low income (30%)
$17,150
$19,600
$22,050
$26,500
$31,040
$35,580
$40,120
$44,660
The IHA also has an additional 203 housing vouchers for those in special circumstances that leave their household at high risk, such as experiencing homelessness or fleeing domestic or dating violence. If you are experiencing homelessness, the IHA has more information and resources available to you
here

How to apply for Section 8 housing in Indianapolis

For the time being, the waitlist for Section 8 housing in Indianapolis is not accepting any new applications. When the waitlist opens again, the IHA will announce it publicly via media outlets and on their
website
Once the waitlist opens and new applications are being accepted, you can apply through the IHA
online portal.
The application will ask for your Social Security or Alien Registration number, first and last name, and the dates of birth for each member of your household, so be sure to have all of that information ready before filling it out. 
It is a good idea to have a pen and paper or other means of recording with you when you complete the application to copy down the confirmation number given to you. You can then use that number to
sign in to your application
if you need to update any of the above information. 
Keep in mind that it is your responsibility to have your updated information on your application at all times. 
Once your application moves to the top of the waiting list, the IHA will schedule a briefing interview with your household before the process moves further along. 

How to find Section 8 housing in Indianapolis 

After receiving your Housing Choice voucher, you should begin looking for a suitable housing unit immediately, as your voucher will expire 60 days from the date you receive it. 
Because the Section 8 program allows participants to find housing through the private rental market, there are a few avenues you can use to find a home. 
The IHA keeps a
list of properties
available for Section 8 housing or you can search for units matching your voucher on
affordablehousing.com
. Even newspaper ads can aid you in your search. 
Your leasing officer will provide you with a Request for Tenancy Approval document that you will need to give to the landlord of your prospective unit. Promptly return the filled out form to your leasing officer—the IHA will then schedule an inspection of the unit and draw up a lease agreement. 
If those are approved, you are set to move in. If the inspection, lease agreement, or both are denied, you’ll need to begin your housing search again immediately

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FAQs

Section 8 participants will be required to pay a minimum of 30% or maximum of 40% of their adjusted monthly income in rent and utilities. The exact amount that the government will pay towards your rent will depend on your income and family size, and the rental market.
An Indianapolis Section 8 housing voucher for a 2 bedroom unit has a standard payment of $918.
Landlords in Indiana do not have to participate in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.
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