Everything You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing in Charlotte

You may be eligible for Section 8 housing in Charlotte if you make 50% or less of the median income.
Written by Abbey Orzech
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Section 8 housing vouchers may be available to families and individuals in Charlotte,
North Carolina
, who make 50% or less of the median income. This voucher program enables participants to access decent, safe housing for no more than 40% of their monthly income. 
While this program is very beneficial to those with low-income looking for affordable and safe housing, the process of obtaining a voucher often involves long wait times. 
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What is Section 8 housing?

Section 8 was created by the 1974 Housing and Community Development Act. It’s a federal assistance program that aims to provide decent housing at an affordable price to low-income and very low-income families and individuals. 
Participants can select housing from the private market, and the government guarantees that you’ll pay no more than 40% of your monthly income on rent (they’ll cover the rest). 
Here’s how Section 8 works: 
  • Eligible people can apply for Section 8 housing vouchers through their local Housing Authority.
  • The Housing Authority uses your family size and composition to determine priority status and what your voucher will cover. 
  • When an application is approved and a voucher is given, tenants search for a housing unit that best suits their needs
  • The Housing Authority will schedule an inspection of the housing unit and, if approved, determine a fair rent price with the landlord. 
  • Once the inspection and lease are approved, the tenant can move in and the government will pay a portion of their rent. Tenants have to pay at least 30% but no more than 40% of their monthly income in rent.

Section 8 obligations

The Section 8 Housing Voucher Program lays out obligations for tenants, landlords, and local housing authorities. 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 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 tenant, including eviction notices
Ensure that tenants and landlords comply with program rules
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Key Takeaway Families and individuals with low or very low incomes can receive government-provided rental assistance through the Section 8 program. You won’t have to pay more than 40% of your monthly income in rent. 

What are the requirements for Section 8 housing in Charlotte?

The Charlotte Housing Authority (CHA)
manages the Section 8 housing program in Charlotte, North Carolina. Requirements for Section 8 participation are set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 
To be considered for a Section 8 voucher, the head or co-head of the household must be at least 18 years of age, hold U.S. citizen or eligible immigrant status, make 50% or less of the area’s median income, and pass a criminal background check. The CHA will also take into account previous behavior in other assisted housing programs. 
Your income and assets will be verified by the CHA. To qualify, your annual gross income must be at or below 50% of the median income in the area. HUD includes the following in income calculations: 
  • Wages
  • Pension
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Interest
  • Welfare assistance
  • Social security benefits
  • Alimony and child support
To see a complete list of what HUD will consider income, look
In 2021, Charlotte had a median household income of $65,359. However, to figure out your exact income limit you will need to adjust for your family size and composition. The table below breaks down the qualifying income limits by family size in Charlotte:
Family size
Very low income (50%)
Extremely low income (30%)
The CHA will prioritize certain applicants based on housing circumstances. If you are currently homeless or displaced due to domestic violence, you could be moved up the waitlist. 

How to apply for Section 8 housing in Charlotte

Unfortunately, the waitlist for Section 8 housing in Charlotte is currently closed to new applicants and has more than 6,000 applications waiting for a spot. 
There are only 8,550 Housing Choice Voucher units available in Charlotte, so expect your wait time to be considerable. 
If you are currently on the waitlist, you’ll get a letter each year asking you to confirm your continued interest in the program, so make sure you respond each year to remain on the waitlist.
Once the CHA begins accepting new Section 8 applications, interested participants can apply through this
online portal
. While filling out the application, you will need a valid email address, current mailing address, estimated family annual income, and the Social Security (or Alien Registration) numbers and dates of birth for all members of your household.
If any of that information changes while you are on the waitlist, be sure to
update the CHA
or email hcvwaitlist@cha-nc.org.  
When your application nears the top of the list, you and your household members will receive a letter requesting your participation in a preliminary interview before the rest of the process unfolds. 

How to find Section 8 housing in Charlotte

After receiving your voucher, you should start looking for an appropriate housing unit for your needs right away because these vouchers expire. You can find Section 8 housing through
When you find a suitable home, you will need to obtain a Request for Tenancy Approval document from your leasing officer and give it to your landlord to complete. After it’s filled out, give it back to your leasing officer and the CHA will then schedule an inspection of the unit. 
If the unit is approved, the CHA will determine a fair rent price to propose to the landlord. If the landlord accepts, the lease is ready for completion and you can move in. 
If the unit is not approved or the landlord does not accept the rent price, you’ll have to start looking for another suitable home right away.
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The exact dollar amount that Section 8 will pay towards your rent depends on your family size and composition, but tenants of Section 8 housing will not pay more than 40% of their monthly income.
A 2-bedroom Section 8 voucher in Charlotte is typically around $1,000 but is dependent on your income.
Not necessarily. Mandated inspections can cause a general delay in getting the first payment, and landlords in North Carolina are not required to accept Section 8 applications.
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