What is Section 8?
The Section 8 program provides assistance for low income families in the private rental market through the Housing Assistance Payments Program (HAP).
RENTAL VOUCHER HOLDERS select a unit from the private rental market. Rental assistance makes market rate housing affordable. Program participants normally pay no more than 30% of monthly adjusted income toward rent and utilities. The Housing Assistance Payment subsidizes the balance of the rent to the property owner.
How can I become part of this Rental Assistance Program?
Eligibility for a rental voucher is determined by the local Housing Authority based on the total annual gross income and family size and is limited to U.S. Citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. In general, the family's income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live. Median income levels are published by HUD and vary by location. The current income limits for Marathon County are:
Qualifying Income Limits as of 03/06/15
50% Median Income
*Income limits for families larger than five household members will be provided upon request.*
During the application process, the Housing Authority will collect information on family income, assets and family composition. They will verify this information with other local agencies, your employer and bank, and will use the information to determine program eligibility and the amount of the rental assistance payment.
If the Housing Authority determines that your family is eligible, they will put your name on the waiting list. Once your name has reached on the top of the waiting list, they will contact you and issue you a rental voucher. Please contact the Wausau Housing Authority at 715-261-6687 for current information on the wait time.
Where can I live?
Once your family has been issued a Housing Choice Voucher by the Housing Authority, you can search the private rental market for a housing unit that is decent, safe, and sanitary according to Housing Quality Standards (HQS) established by HUD and the local Housing Authority (please review "A Good Place to Live!") When you have found a suitable unit and the owner agrees to lease the unit to your family under the housing choice voucher program, the Housing Authority will inspect the unit to assure that it is suitable. After the unit passes HQS inspection and the rent has been approved, the landlord and tenant enter a lease for an initial term of one year. The Housing Authority and the landlord sign a Housing Assistance Payments Contact (HAP Contract) through which the rent is assisted on your behalf. You will be responsible for the monthly payment of the difference between the total rent and the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).
Can I move and continue to receive this assistance?
A family's housing needs change over time with changes in family size, job locations, and for other reasons. The Housing Choice Voucher Program is designed to allow families to move without the loss of rental assistance. Moves are permissible as long as the family notifies the Housing Authority ahead of time, terminates its existing lease within the appropriate provisions, and finds acceptable alternate housing.
Under the voucher program, new voucher holders may choose a unit anywhere in the United States if the family lived within the jurisdiction of the Housing Authority issuing the voucher when the family applied for assistance. Those new voucher holders not living within the jurisdiction of the Housing Authority at the time the family applies for rental assistance must initially lease a unit within that jurisdiction for the first twelve (12) months assistance. A family that wishes to move to another Housing Authority's jurisdiction must consult with the Housing Authority that currently administers its rental assistance to verify procedures for moving.
What is the term of the Lease and Contract?
After one year, the lease is renewed for a specified time period (ex. month-to-month, six months, etc.). You may vacate with a notice after the term of the lease expires. If you remain in the unit, you are re-certified for eligibility and the unit is inspected for HQS annually, at which time the landlord may request an annual adjustment rent increase which must be approved by the Housing Authority. This request must be submitted in writing to the Housing Authority and to you sixty days prior to renewal.
Who to contact?
If you have any questions on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program please contact the Wausau Community Development Authority at 715-261-6687, or email Mary or Mai See.
Roles - The Tenant, The Landlord, The Housing Agency, and HUD