Everything You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing in Las Vegas

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Families whose income is 50% or less of Las Vegas’s median income are eligible for Section 8 housing vouchers, which will authorize the federal government to cover a portion of their rent. 
The Section 8 program, created in the 1970s, allows low-income families, elderly people, and disabled individuals to access decent housing. If you have a Section 8 voucher, you can pay 40% or less of your monthly income in rent—the government covers the rest. 
Unfortunately, navigating the Section 8 program is a major headache. Between extensive paperwork, long wait times, and overburdened systems, finding Section 8 housing can feel like an impossible task. 
That’s why car and renters insurance super app Jerry has created this easy and complete guide to Section 8 housing in Las Vegas. We’ll cover the basics of the Section 8 program, look at the requirements in Las Vegas, and go through the process of applying for vouchers, looking for apartments, and maintaining your Section 8 tenancy. 
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What is Section 8 housing?

Section 8 is a federal affordable housing program that allows very low-income families, as well as elderly or disabled people, to have a portion of their rent paid for by the government. The name comes from Section 8 of the 1974 Housing and Community Development Act, which established the housing voucher program. 
Here’s how Section 8 works: 
  • Eligible tenants can apply to their local housing authority for housing choice vouchers or project based vouchers to qualify for rental assistance. 
  • Housing choice vouchers allow tenants to live in any apartment that fits the qualifications specified on the voucher. 
  • Project based vouchers are attached to specific properties and allow landlords to designate certain units as low-income dwellings. 
  • The housing authority assigns vouchers for a specific number of bedrooms based on family size and composition
  • Tenants who apply for housing with a housing choice voucher can’t be required to pay more than 40% of their income in rent—the government pays the rest directly to the government. 

Section 8 obligations

Under the Section 8 program, tenants, landlords, and local housing authorities all carry certain obligations. Here’s what each party is responsible for:
TenantLandlordHousing authority
Provide accurate and complete documentationScreen tenantsDetermine applicants’ eligibility and issue vouchers
Find suitable housing and complete all required paperwork before voucher expiresComply with fair housing lawsApprove units, rental amounts, and leases
Pay rent promptly and attend all required appointmentsComplete all necessary repairs and maintenanceInspect subsidized units annually
Notify the housing authority of any changes in income or family compositionProvide housing authority with documentation of any notices to tenant, including eviction noticesEnsure that both tenants and landlords comply with program rules
Key Takeaway If you qualify for Section 8 housing, the government will pay a significant portion of your rent—but expect major wait times and a lot of red tape. 

What are the requirements for Section 8 housing in Las Vegas?

Section 8 housing in Las Vegas is managed by the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority (SNRHA). In order to qualify for Section 8 vouchers in Las Vegas, you’ll need to meet the federal requirements set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 
To qualify, you must be 18 years of age or older and either a US citizen or a documented immigrant. If you’ve ever been evicted for a serious lease violation, especially one involving drug use or methamphetamine manufacture, your applicantion can be rejected—and if you’re a convicted sex offender, you’ll be denied. 
To qualify, your income must not exceed 50% of the median income in your area. HUD includes the following in income calculations: 
  • Wages
  • Business income
  • Interest
  • Welfare assistance
  • Social security benefits
  • Alimony and child support
Other types of income may be counted in your total income amount. Take a close look at this list to determine your income. 
As of 2021, the median household income in Las Vegas is $70,800. However, the exact income limits vary depending on your family size—and keep in mind that federal law requires the SNRHA to give 75% of its vouchers to applicants whose income is 30% or less of the median income. The table below breaks down qualifying income based on family size in Las Vegas:
Family size12345678
Very low income (50%)$27,550$31,500$35,450$39,350$42,500$45,650$48,800$51,950
Extremely low income (30%)$16,500$18,900$21,960$26,500$31,040$35,580$40,120$44,660
The SNRHA will take factors other than family size and income into account. If you have children, disabled family members, or elderly family members, your application may be prioritized over others. You could also be pushed up the waitlist if you’re currently unhoused

How to apply for Section 8 housing in Las Vegas

To apply for Section 8 housing in Las Vegas, start by filling out an application using the SNRHA online portal. Be prepared to provide extensive documentation of your income. 
If you meet the requirements of the program, you’ll receive a confirmation letter notifying you that you’re on the waiting list. This may be the last you hear from the SNRHA for quite some time—it’s common to stay on the waiting list for 12 to 18 months before being certified as eligible for vouchers. During this waiting period, be sure to notify SNRHA immediately of any changes in your income, family composition, or mailing address. 
When your name finally reaches the top of the waiting list, SNRHA will reach out to you asking you to come in for a briefing so that you can be certified as eligible. You’ll receive your voucher and paperwork to request approval for whatever apartment you apply for. 

How to find Section 8 housing in Las Vegas

Once you’ve received your voucher, you’ll have 90 days to find housing (for elderly and disabled applicants, the expiration date is 120 days). You can use AffordableHousing.com to find a place, or check out this map created by HUD. 
Document everything in your housing search, including meetings with landlords, applications submitted, and anything else you do. Having records of your search will help if you can’t find housing in time and need to apply for a 30-day extension: if you can show SNRHA that you’ve been looking diligently for housing, they’re more likely to extend your search time. If you find any apartment listings that say “no section 8,” you can report them to the housing authority. 
When you find an apartment, send a copy of your lease agreement to SNRHA along with the “request for tenancy approval” documents that you got with your voucher. 
The housing authority will send someone to inspect the apartment after you move in to ensure that it meets the definition of “decent housing.” SNRHA will carry out annual inspections and recertifications to make sure that both you and the unit still comply with program requirements. 
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How to save money on car and renters insurance in Las Vegas

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Jerry doesn’t just handle car insurance—while you’re at it, you can enroll in renters insurance to protect yourself and your unit from financial risk. 
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FAQs

Under Section 8, you can’t be required to pay more than 40% of your income in rent. That means that Section 8 will cover the rest—up to 60% of your monthly income. The exact dollar amount will vary depending on your income, your family size, and the fair market rent in your area.
A 2-bedroom Section 8 voucher in Las Vegas will typically pay a maximum amount between $1,094 and $1,338.
Not necessarily. In general, denying a tenant’s application solely based on their income or Section 8 status is illegal discrimination. However, if the program’s wait times and procedural obligations create undue burdens, landlords in Nevada aren’t required to accept Section 8 applications.

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