Everything You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing in Albuquerque

To qualify for Section 8 housing vouchers in Albuquerque, you’ll need to make less than 50% of the median income.
Written by Elizabeth Sandberg
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Families whose income is 50% or less of
’s median income are eligible for Section 8 housing vouchers, which will authorize the federal government to cover a part of their rent. 
The Section 8 program, founded 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 remainder. 
Understanding the Section 8 program is no walk in the park. The required paperwork, extended wait times, and overloaded administrative systems all make Section 8 housing seem like an impossible task. But it can be done.
That’s where car and renters insurance super app
comes in! Here, we cover the basics of the Section 8 program, explain the requirements for Section 8 in Albuquerque,
New Mexico
, and take you through the process of applying for a voucher, looking for apartments, and maintaining your Section 8 standing. 
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What is Section 8 housing?

Section 8 is a federally funded program that allows 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 the Section 8 Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, which established the housing voucher program. 
Here’s how Section 8 works: 
  • To qualify for rental assistance, eligible residents can apply to their community’s housing authority for housing choice vouchers or project-based vouchers
  • Housing choice vouchers enable applicants to live in an apartment that matches the conditions designated on the voucher 
  • Project-based vouchers are connected to specific properties where landlords allocate some units as low-income dwellings 
  • The housing authority looks at family size and composition and assigns vouchers for a specific number of bedrooms based on that information 
  • Housing choice vouchers ensure that tenants who apply for housing will not pay more than 40% of their income in rent—the government pays the outstanding rent directly to the landlord or property owner 

Section 8 requirements

Under the Section 8 program, tenants, landlords, and local housing authorities all carry certain obligations. Here’s what each party is responsible for:
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
Key Takeaway If you qualify for Section 8 housing, the government pays a significant portion of your rent each month—but be prepared for paperwork and long wait times. 

What are the requirements for Section 8 housing in Albuquerque?

Section 8 housing in Albuquerque is overseen by the
Albuquerque Housing Authority (AHA)
. To be eligible for Section 8 vouchers in Albuquerque, you must meet the federal requirements determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 
This means you must be 18 years of age or older and either a US citizen or a documented immigrant
If you’ve ever been previously evicted for a serious lease violation, especially if it involves drugs or the manufacture of methamphetamines, your application will most likely be rejected. Your application will be denied if you’re a convicted sex offender
To qualify, your income cannot exceed 50% of the median income in your area. The following income calculations are used by HUD: 
  • Wages
  • Alimony and child support
  • Welfare assistance
  • Social security benefits
  • Business income
  • Interest
Other types of income may be counted in your total income amount. You can
look at this list
for more information and calculate your income. 
According to the most recent numbers from 2020, the median household income in Albuquerque is $53,936. However, the exact income limits will vary based on your family size. The AHA is required by federal law to reserve 75% of its vouchers to applicants whose income is 30% or less of the median income
Here’s a breakdown of qualifying incomes based on family size in Albuquerque:
Family size
Very low income (50%)
The AHA will take factors other than family size and income into account. If you have children, disabled family members, or elderly family members, you may be considered a priority. You could also be given priority if you’re currently unhoused

How to apply for Section 8 housing in Albuquerque

AHA currently
accepts pre-applications
for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program between June 1st and June 30th every year. At all other times, applicants can
complete this electronic form
and be contacted when any AHA Section 8 waiting list opens. If your information changes, AHA recommends that you fill out the electronic form again
The electronic form is not an application for any of the AHA programs. It simply gives AHA permission to contact you when they are accepting applications. 
Some good news—Albuquerque’s Section 8 Project-Based Voucher Program (PBV) is currently open. To apply, start by filling out a pre-application using the
AHA online portal
  • Pre-applications do not require supporting documentation
  • Pre-applications can only be submitted online at no extra cost
  • For those who do not have access to a computer or smartphone, the AHA has several free kiosks available for residents to submit their pre-application. The kiosks are available by appointment only. Call 505-764-3953 or email
    to schedule a time. Walk-ins are not allowed
Selection in the PBV Program drawing does not guarantee admission to the Section 8 Project-Based Voucher Rental Assistance Program. Anyone selected in the drawing is first screened according to the Section 8 PBV Administrative Plan to determine further eligibility.
Those selected through the PBV program will be contacted by U.S. mail regarding the next steps to be taken. Please note that your official AHA selection letter is your official proof of selection through the process. You may also get unofficial reminders by email, text, or phone call.
At each step in the pre-application and
application process
, be prepared to wait after submitting your information. If you experience any changes in your income, family composition, or mailing address, you may send the information by mail to: 
AHA Office
1840 University Blvd SE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106
ATTN: Intake
Key Takeaway To qualify for Section 8 housing in Albuquerque, you need to complete a pre-approval process. This does not guarantee selection for the program, and you’ll only be notified by mail if you’ve been accepted. 

How to find Section 8 housing in Albuquerque

Once you’ve received your voucher, you have at least 60 days to find housing (elderly and disabled applicants usually have longer). You can use
to find a place, or you can check out
this map
created by HUD. 
Be sure to document everything throughout the process, such as meetings with landlords, applications you have submitted, and any other work you do to find a house. If you are unable to find affordable housing within the time limit and you need to apply for an extension, your records will help you prove that you’ve been working on finding housing. 
If you happen to come across any listings that say “no section 8,” you can report them to the housing authority. 
Once you find an apartment, you must send a copy of your lease agreement to AHA along with the “request for tenancy approval” documents that you received with your voucher. 
AHA will send someone to inspect the apartment after you move in to ensure that it meets federal minimum Housing Quality Standards and the minimum required local safety building code standards. The head of household and the landlord (or representative) must be present at the time of the inspection. 
MORE: 10 ways to get cheap car insurance that’s actually good

How to save money on car and renters insurance in Albuquerque

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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 Albuquerque will typically pay between $777 and $940 per month.
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