Everything You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing in Oklahoma City

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Section 8 in Oklahoma City allows people who make 80% or less than the median income in the area to receive vouchers that cap the percentage of their income they’ll have to spend on rent. The government pledges to pay the rest to the landlord. 
But finding Section 8 housing in your community can be a burdensome task. Between extensive paperwork, long waits, and limited availability, the process can feel endless. 
That’s why Jerry has compiled this article including everything you need to know about Section 8 housing in Oklahoma City, OK, and how to find the best savings on car and renters insurance.

What is Section 8 housing?

Section 8 is a federal affordable housing program that allows low-income families, as well as elderly or disabled people, to have a percentage of their rent paid for directly by the government. 
The name itself derives 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 to qualify for rental assistance.
  • Housing choice vouchers allow tenants to live in any apartment that fits the qualifications specified on the voucher. 
  • Your local housing authority gives 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. 
Basically, Section 8 creates greater access to decent and affordable housing for citizens most in need. 

Section 8 obligations

As a federally-implemented housing program, there are a number of requirements placed upon tenants, landlords, and local housing authorities to comply with Section 8 guidelines. 
Here are the basic responsibilities of each party:
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 tenants, including eviction noticesEnsure that both tenants and landlords comply with program rules
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You can find a more detailed breakdown of Section 8 responsibilities in Oklahoma City on the OCHA’s website
Key takeaway Section 8 programs create opportunities for low-income families and individuals to access affordable housing, but the process can be extensive and cumbersome.

What are the requirements for Section 8 housing in Oklahoma City?

Section 8 housing in Oklahoma City is managed by the Oklahoma City Housing Authority, also known as the OCHA. Eligibility for Section 8 housing vouchers is determined primarily based on family size and gross annual income, in compliance with the criteria set forth by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 
To qualify for Section 8 housing vouchers in Oklahoma City, you must be at least 18 years or older (or emancipated by the state’s court system). Additionally, you must either be a US citizen or a documented immigrant to apply. 
If you have a recent history of prior evictions or crimes, however, your application may be rejected—and if you or a family member is a registered sex offender, the application will automatically be denied. 
If your gross annual income does not exceed 50% of the median income in your area, then you likely qualify for a housing voucher through Section 8. 
When calculating your exact annual income, the HUD considers the following factors:
  • Wages
  • Business income
  • Interest
  • Social security benefits
  • Welfare assistance
  • Alimony and child support
The median household income in Oklahoma City as of 2020 is $56,456. However, exact qualifying income limits depend not only on income alone but also on your family size and composition. 
It’s also important to keep in mind that the OCHA is required by law to provide at least 75% of its housing vouchers to those who make 30% or less than the median income.
Below, you’ll find a more detailed breakdown of how applicants are assessed based on income levels and family size:
Family size12345678+
Maximum combined annual gross income$25,650$29,300$32,950$36,600$39,550$42,500$45,400$48,350
If your family application includes children, elderly family members, or disabled family members, your application may be prioritized by the OCHA, especially if you’re currently unhoused. 

How to apply for Section 8 housing in Oklahoma City

If you or your family qualify for a housing voucher under Section 8, you can apply through the OCHA’s online portal. You’ll have to register and set up an account before you can proceed with your application. 
Once you’ve set up an account, be ready to provide extensive income documentation as part of the application process.
If you have a disability or need assistance completing your application, you can call the Housing Voucher Program’s hotline at (405)605-3248 or submit a request in writing to the following address: Oklahoma City Housing Authority, ATTN: Housing Voucher Program, 1800 N.E. 4th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117-3808.
Once you submit your application, you’ll automatically be added to the OCHA’s waiting list. It is your responsibility as the applicant to keep all information current and up-to-date while your pre-application is processing; you can make edits to your application right through the OCHA portal. 
Once your application has reached the top of the waiting list, you’ll receive a notification by email or standard mail. Formal application processing can take a month to six weeks, on average—but once you’re approved, the OCHA will issue you a housing voucher. 
From there, you’ll have 60 days (approximately two months) to find a suitable dwelling. For elderly or disabled applications, this period is extended to 120 days (approximately three months). 
Your housing voucher will outline the exact qualifications of eligible units for you to choose from. To learn more about the application process and the housing vouchers available in Oklahoma City, you can visit OCHA’s website

How to find Section 8 housing in Oklahoma City

Once you’ve received your housing voucher, you’ll have two (or three) months to secure a suitable unit. Housing vouchers in Oklahoma City permit you to choose any unit within the city limits, so long as it meets the criteria set forth by the voucher. Landlords maintain their private property rights, and lease agreements will occur directly between you and your landlord. 
In Oklahoma City, you can search for Section 8 housing using any of the following sites:
You can also check out the HUD’s resource map or any local listings you may come across on your own. 
It’s important to keep a record of your housing search process, including documenting meetings with landlords and copies of any submitted applications. 
If you’re struggling to find housing within the 60 days, the OCHA may grant you a 30-day extension—providing documentation of your search efforts can improve your chances of getting an extension.
Once your application is approved by your landlord, you’ll have to send a copy of your lease to OCHA, along with a completed Request for Tenancy Approval (Form HUD-52517) filled out and signed by both you and your landlord. The OCHA reviews your lease and Request for Tenancy form to confirm the rent is affordable based on your family’s income. 
Following approval, your local housing authority will conduct an on-site inspection to make sure the unit meets Housing Quality Standard requirements, and the OCHA will continue to conduct annual inspections and recertifications to ensure both you and the unit remain in compliance with Section 8 requirements. 

How to save money on car and renters insurance in Oklahoma City

Finding affordable housing in Oklahoma City can be a difficult process—that’s why Jerry makes it simple to save on car and renters insurance! 
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FAQs

When determining your subsidy under Section 8, the housing authority will take into consideration not only gross annual income but also family size and composition, including whether there are elderly or disabled family members. 
Generally, you can’t be required to pay more than 40% of your income in rent, meaning the government will cover up to 60%.
Exact costs vary since Oklahoma City’s Housing Authority considers both family size and composition (age, gender, etc.) when determining the necessary number of bedrooms to issue on a housing voucher.
Landlords in Oklahoma are required to comply with state and local fair housing laws and equal opportunity initiativesincluding Section 8
Landlords do, however, retain private property rights and can screen applicants to ensure they are suitable renters.

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