Get Section 8 Housing In Cleveland, Ohio Without the Wait

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm, is not licensed to practice law, and is not equivalent to the services of a licensed lawyer. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help, and does not offer legal services. Third party news articles mentioned on our website do not necessarily reflect the views of the company, or the current services that we offer.

Get Section 8 Housing In Cleveland, Ohio Without the Wait

If you're in the Cleveland, OH area and paying rent, financial hardship might be in the way of many families being able to afford even half of Cleveland's $1,212 average monthly rent. Thankfully, there are rental assistance programs available in voucher programs, and here is how you can apply for this relief.

What Is Section 8 Housing Assistance?

Section 8 is a program developed and funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This program provides a certain amount of funding to local Public Housing Authorities based on geographical location and need. Vouchers are issued to low-income families and individuals, the elderly, and the disabled. As a general rule, families who receive housing vouchers are required to pay 30 to 40 percent of their income towards rent.

The rest of the rental payments are backed by the Federal Government through Section 8 vouchers.

However, not all landlords are quick to jump on board. In fact, research has found many landlords - particularly those in high-end or more affluent areas do not wish to participate in Section 8, which can make finding suitable housing very challenging.

How Is Section 8 Different From Other Rental Assistance Programs?

The greatest difference between Section 8 Housing Vouchers and public housing (and other rental assistance programs) is the ability to live in privately owned residences.

Participants in Section 8 - or the Housing Choice Voucher Program - are able to choose from any privately-owned rental as long as the property owner is permitted to work within the program. They are responsible for finding the rental based on need and specifics outlined by the housing authority and must pay 30 to 40 percent of their adjusted gross income towards rent. The rest goes to the landlord from the government to cover rental costs.

Public housing, on the other hand, is housing generally owned by the government, and rent amounts are determined based on income. Conversely, other rental programs through church or local charitable organizations offer financial assistance - usually a one-time payment - to help individuals and families with financial hardship.

Who Is Eligible for Section 8 in Cleveland, Ohio?

Eligibility for the housing choice voucher program is determined by the Public Housing Agency (PHA) of Cleveland: CMHA or Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority. It is determined based on total income and family size.

Several factors determine whether or not you are eligible for Section 8 housing:

Income EligibilityYou are making at or below the posted poverty line in your state. You are considered at the lowest income level if your family brings in only 30 percent or less of the average income in your area. You are still considered very low income if you only bring in 50 percent of that income and low income for 80 percent.
Age EligibilityIf you are above a certain age and still not bringing in enough income, you may qualify for Section 8 housing. Depending on a fixed income, those who are 65 and older could find themselves meeting these requirements.
Disability EligibilityIf you have been deemed disabled and unable to work, you are eligible for assistance, even as the head of household.

How Do I Apply for Section 8 Housing in Cleveland, Ohio?

There are multiple steps to apply for .

1. Submit a Preliminary Application

The preliminary application is a way to determine if you will qualify to apply. This application is submitted online via any computer or mobile device that's connected to the internet. You can submit your preliminary application any time of the year, but only one application can be submitted per person. To submit a preliminary application, you will need:

  • An active private email account
  • Your Social Security number
  • The names and dates of birth of all household members
  • The income of each household member

You'll receive communication from CMHA via the email address you submit your application with. Preliminary applications are kept active for 18 months. If your family is selected, you'll be notified via email to complete the full Housing Choice Voucher application. You can submit your preliminary application here.

After you've submitted your preliminary application, you'll be on the list of families in the lottery who are drawn at random when federal funds become available. If your family is chosen, you'll become an eligible applicant.

It is crucial during this time to keep your name, address, family members, and income information updated in the event your name is selected. If your family is not selected within the 18-month period, you'll be notified via email and can resubmit your preliminary application.

2. Submit Full Application (If Selected)

If your preliminary application for assistance is selected and approved, you'll be notified to submit a full application via email. To submit a full application for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, you'll need:

  • Current State Driver's License or State Identification for all adults
  • Social Security cards for everyone in the household
  • Birth certificates for all minor children in the household
  • Non-citizens must provide either: Resident Alien Card, Alien Registration Receipt Card, Temporary Resident Card, or Employment Authorization Card
  • Proof of Income for all household members (dated within the last 30 days of submission):
    • Copies of paycheck stubs (if employed)
    • Weekly – 6 current consecutive pay stubs
    • Bi-Weekly – 3 current consecutive pay stubs
    • Semi-Monthly – 4 current consecutive pay stubs
    • Monthly – 2 current consecutive pay stubs
    • New-Hire – Letter on company letterhead containing ALL: 1. Start Date,
    • 2. Hourly Rate, 3. Approximate Average Hours and 4. Frequency of Pay)
    • Copies of benefits letters for Social Security, SSI, SSDI, etc.
    • Copies of all other income documentation, i.e., child support, pensions, etc.
    • Self-employment – IRS Tax Forms 1099 or Schedule C (if applicable)
  • Proof of Assets (dated within last 30 days)
    • Real Estate – mortgage, or deed
    • Life insurance policies, stocks, bonds, trust, other Investments
    • Most recent bank statement
  • Financial aid, education grants & scholarships for any household member attending college/ technical school (if applicable)
  • Receipts for out-of-pocket medical or disability expenses ONLY IF
    • The head of household, spouse or co-head is 62+ years of age
    • Or the head of household is a person with disabilities
  • Proof of allowable deductions for the head of household, elderly disabled or handicapped medical, child care, students 18 years or older.
  • Letter on letterhead from a child care provider and/or receipts for out-of-pocket child care expenses (if applicable).

You will need documentation that verifies all the information you're providing is accurate and up-to-date.

How to Apply for Section 8 in Cleveland, Ohio With DoNotPay

Applying for can be difficult and frustrating. But DoNotPay makes it easier than ever. We will compose a letter to your local housing authority based on your situation and inquire about your best options for receiving assistance. Here are the two easy steps:

  1. Answer a few questions about your income, family size, veteran/disability status, which county you hope to live in, etc.

  2. DoNotPay will find the PHA in charge of that county and contact them with all of your eligibility information to determine if you can start applying. They'll get back to you directly via email with the next steps.

Don't let frustrations with rent get you down. DoNotPay can help you get started quickly and easily with the application process. Join us today!

Want your issue solved now?