Everything You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing in Tucson

To qualify for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program in Tucson, Arizona, you must make 50% or less of your county’s median income.
Written by Natalie Todoroff
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Qualifying households in Tucson,
, may apply for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, in which the government will cover a portion of monthly rent. Applications to the Tucson Housing Choice Voucher program and waitlist are currently closed.
Section 8 housing was designed with low-income, elderly, and disabled tenants in mind. The Housing and Community Development Act of 1978 today still provides much-needed financial relief to families and households who may struggle to make their monthly rent. 
In Tucson, if you qualify for an HCV voucher, you may end up putting 30% of your gross monthly income towards rent, while the program will pay the rest directly to your landlord. 
Although the Tucson HCV program is not currently open to new applications,
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What is Section 8 housing? 

Section 8 is a federally-funded housing program intended to aid low-income families, the disabled, and the elderly by allowing the government to subsidize a portion of their rent. 
Eligible tenants can apply with their local housing authority for a housing choice voucher or a project-based voucher. A housing choice voucher permits tenants to reside in an apartment or living space that fulfills the requirements laid out on the voucher, while project-based vouchers allow landlords to set aside certain units in their buildings as low-income residences. 
Vouchers vary on both the size and composition of the applicant’s family: more people equals more bedrooms. Once you are accepted into the program and receive your voucher, you will only be responsible for paying 30% of your income in rent, and the government will pick up the rest. 
Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Well, qualifications and applications for Section 8 housing are extremely tedious. If you’re going to apply, expect prolonged wait times and many hoops to jump through. 

Section 8 obligations 

In order for Section 8 Housing to be effective, tenants, landlords, and local housing authorities are all responsible for different parts of the process:
Housing authority
Provide accurate and complete documentation
Screen tenants
Determine applicants’ eligibility and issue vouchers
Find suitable housing and complete all required paperwork before the 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 tenants, including eviction notices
Ensure that both tenants and landlords comply with program rules
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Key Takeaway Getting approved for Section 8 can be difficult, but if you are, the government will pay 60% to 70% of your rent. 

What are the requirements for Section 8 Housing in Tucson? 

Eligibility for Section 8 housing is set by the federal
Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD). Exact qualifications will be laid out by the local public housing agency (PHA), but in general, household income must be less than 50% of their county’s median income level to qualify for Section 8. 
As of 2020, the median household income in Tucson, Arizona, is $45,227. So, to qualify, a Tucson household must bring in less than $22,613.50.But, keep in mind that a household income is more than just a salary; HUD also includes welfare assistance, social security,and
other factors
when calculating your income
Applicants must also be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or documented immigrant
Additionally, it’s important to be aware of things that will get an application rejected. If you’ve ever been evicted for a serious lease violation—especially one that involved narcotics—or is a convicted sex offender, you won’t be able to obtain housing through Section 8.   
Section 8 housing is managed by
the City of Tucson
’s local government. Although they do have some of their own specifications unique to the Tucson and Pima County areas (which we’ll dive into a little later on), they still must adhere to the regulations laid out by HUD. 
HUD mandates that 75% of housing vouchers must be set aside for households who make 30% or less of the median income. Here’s a breakdown of what exactly those numbers look like for a Tucson family:
Family size
Very Low (50%) Income Limits
$ 39,800
Extremely Low Income Limits
$ 17,420
$ 21,960
$ 40,120

How to apply for Section 8 housing in Tucson

The Housing Choice Voucher program for Tucson is currently closed and not considering new applications. You can sign up for their
monthly newsletter
to keep up to date with any openings and frequently check their
, and
You can also check out websites like
com to find housing that works with your income level. 

How to find Section 8 housing in Tucson 

When the applications open back up and you are accepted, it’ll be time to actually find your unit. Your new dwelling can be an apartment, house, duplex, manufactured home, or even an assisted living facility—but it must be located in Tucson or Pima County. If you’re looking outside those areas, you’ll need to contact the City of Tucson Portability Specialist
That said, you may not actually end up having to find a new apartment. If your landlord is willing to rent under the Housing Program and your apartment meets the
Tucson Housing Quality Standards
, you can bypass the apartment search process entirely. 
Your Housing Voucher will provide you with some important info, like your family bedroom size. The local Tucson government will usually provide one bedroom for every two people in the household. You should be ready to provide documentation of your apartment search in case you need to apply for an extension. Under Section 8 in Tucson, you only have 60 days to find an apartment—and you’ll need to provide a valid reason for not being able to find one in that time frame. 
Once you find an apartment, you’ll have to collaborate with your landlord. They’ll have to fill out a request for a tenancy approval form, which you will then sign and send to Section 8. The potential unit will then have to undergo inspection to ensure that it’s meeting the Housing Quality Standards. 
And, after all of that, you’ll head on down to the Tucson Section 8 Housing building at 310 N Commerce Park Loop to sign your lease. 
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How to save money on car and renters insurance in Tucson 

It sure isn’t easy to find and apply for Section 8 in Tucson. There is a mountain of questions to scale, lots of red tape to navigate, and piles and piles of paperwork to fill out. Thankfully, when you shop for your insurance policies with
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It depends on your landlord and what is written in your lease. Your landlord might require you to pay some, if not all, of your utilities, but your Section 8 voucher may also be able to help offset the cost.
A two-bedroom Section 8 voucher pays around $901 to $1,101 in Tucson, with the voucher holder contributing around $300 in monthly rent.
According to what’s laid out by HUD, families who qualify for Section 8 Housing are not required to put more than 40% of their gross household income towards rent. So, if you look at 60% of your household income, that is the maximum amount that a Section 8 housing voucher can cover.
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