FAQ's

Select a FAQ section - Section 8 Public Housing Homeownership

SECTION 8 FAQ

What is the difference between Public Housing and Section 8?

Public Housing is where the applicant lives in developments managed by the Housing Authority of Mingo County and the rent is 30% of income with garbage removal included. (Tenant is responsible for water and electric).

Section 8 is where the applicant would go out into the private sector to find their own housing and would be responsible for any or all utilities at the request of the landlord.

Can a person apply for Public Housing and Section 8 at the same time?

Yes; but no one can be on both programs at the same time. You can live in the public housing developments until you get the voucher for section 8; give a 30-day notice to public housing to move out; to use the section 8 voucher.

How do I apply for Section 8?

You must first complete a pre-application for assistance to have your name placed on the Housing Authority of Mingo County's waiting list. A pre-application may be submitted by:

Your name will be placed on the list according to the date and time you applied. When your name reaches the top, and there is sufficient funding, you will be called in for an orientation in preparation for getting a voucher. The time on the waiting list depends on available funding.

What are the income limits?

Income limits are established annually by HUD annually. Initially, HAMC will accept applications from families with income of up to 80% of the area median income (low), but HUD requires 75% of the families receiving assistance to be below 30% of the area income (very,very low). Income is calculated before taxes, known as "gross income". It is the total of all income received by all family members over a 12-month period.

What income is counted to determine eligibility?

All income earned in the household by adult members (age 18 or over). This includes but is not limited to; Wages, SS, SSI, TANF, Child Support, and Alimony.

How much rent will I have to pay?

Your portion will be based on approximately 30% of your monthly adjusted income.

Does HAMC pay the security deposit?

No. The security deposit is paid by the tenant

Who is responsible for paying the security deposit and the first month's rent?

The tenant is always responsible for the security deposit and responsible for rent until the assistance begins. (Assistance begins the first of the month following passing of housing inspection)

When should I pay a security deposit?

Talk with the owner to determine when and if you must pay a security deposit. Get the return policy in writing, just in case you never sign a lease. Typically, security deposits are one month's rent.

Who pays the utilities?

The owner and the tenant must decide who will be responsible for the payment of specific utilities. These responsibilities are outlined in the lease and contract.

How is bedroom size determined?

Bedroom size is determined by number of household members. Children of opposite sex will each qualify for a separate bedroom. Adults living together that are not considered a couple will each be awarded a bedroom. Couples living together will be awarded a single bedroom.

Is Section 8 transferable?

Section 8 is transferable through the portability option as long as the receiving Housing Authority has a Section 8 Program.

How long will my contract last?

An initial contract is for one year from the time the assistance starts, not when you move in. After your first year, the contract will renew based on renewal terms listed in the lease agreement between you and your landlord. Tenants are not permitted to move within the first year of their contract without written release from the landlord.

How old do you have to be to qualify?

You must be at least 18 years of age or emancipated by state law to qualify for Section 8 Rental Assistance.

Do you have to have children to qualify?

You do not have to have children to qualify for Section 8 Rental Assistance. All applicants are given "family" status regardless of the size of household. Eligibility is based on income, not family size.

Do you have to be a US citizen?

You have to be a legal citizen of the United States or have eligible immigration status to qualify for Section 8 Rental Assistance.

My voucher has expired. How do I get an extension?

Vouchers are issued for 120 days. This is the maximum time allotted for a voucher. If your voucher expires you will have to reapply on the waiting list.

May cousins, friends or others be added to the household after the voucher is issued?

Yes, but changes in the composition of your household that occur during the period between the issuance of a voucher and lease-up must be reported to HAMC as they may affect the family's eligibility and/or share of the rental payment. During the term of the lease, all additions to the family, except the birth of a baby, adoption, or court awarded custody, must first be approved by your landlord, in writing, and must be reported to HAMC for approval. All adults being added to the program must pass HAMC admissions criteria.

Is there a rule about renting from your mother, father or other relatives?

The owner (including a principal or other interested party) may not be the parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sister or brother of any member of the assisted family. Renting from a family member may be approved as a reasonable accommodation for a family member who is a person with disabilities. If HAMC grants such approval, the owner and family will be notified in writing.

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PUBLIC HOUSING FAQ

Do you Accept Section 8 Vouchers?

No. Public Housing has a subsidy program of its own.

What will my rent be?

Total tenant payment is 30 percent of the family's monthly adjusted income.

Who is responsible for the utilities?

Magnolia Gardens will provide trash removal. The tenant is responsible for the water & electricity.

How long is the waiting list?

Applicants are pulled from the waiting list according to the date and time of their completed application. The waiting list is also determined by the amount of applicants, the bedroom size required, and availability of the required bedroom size. The length of time will vary for each individual family.

Do you offer emergency assistance?

No, Magnolia Gardens does not offer emergency assistance under any circumstances. All applicants are housed in order of the date and time of their completed application.

Do you perform background checks?

We do request a background check on all adult applicants.

When may I pick up an application?

Applications are available at our North Matewan office location Monday - Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm, except holidays, or you may apply online.

How long is your lease?

Our leases are for a 1-year term. After the first year, the lease will automatically become month-to-month.

How much is the security deposit?

The security deposit is currently $150.00.

How many bedrooms do you have?

Magnolia Gardens offers two bedroom sizes to accommodate our larger family sizes ranging from 3-bedroom to 4-bedroom.

Can I qualify for an apartment if I am currently unemployed?

Yes, you would qualify for an apartment if you are currently unemployed.

How old do you have to be to qualify?

You must be at least 18 years of age to qualify for housing.

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HOMEOWNERSHIP FAQ

What are the qualifications?

Every applicant is different and each homeownership program has different qualifications.

Do you run a credit report?

Yes. You must have an acceptable credit history or be willing to participate in credit counseling to improve your credit score.

Do I have to be employed?

Employment is not required however, you must be able to verify a reliable source of income that would place the family within the required income guidelines. If a family member is employed he/she is required to be at their current job for at least two years.

What if I have filed for bankruptcy?

You can still qualify if it has been three (3) years past the discharge.

What is the escrow account?

Every month, a portion of the house payment will go into an account set up in your name to be applied to taxes and insurance.

How much will the house cost?

The cost of the house will be based upon the individual family's affordability. This amount varies for every case and program that you may qualify.

Will I receive Homeownership counseling?

Yes, you will be required to participate in a Homebuyer's Club. The Homebuyer's Club will offer credit, budgeting, financing, and home maintenance counseling.

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