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    Default Need Rent Money? Uncle Same Can Help

    Need Rent Money? Uncle Same Can Help

    by M. Anthony Carr

    If you're trying to get on that first rung of the homeownership ladder ? I'm
    referring to renting your first house ? there are a couple of government
    programs that pack a powerful punch for low-income home shoppers. Section 8 is
    the most popular, geared toward low-income renters, and Section 42 helps
    developers create affordable housing communities, thus increasing the pool of
    housing opportunities for low-income families.

    Households with 50 to 60 percent of the median income in a particular area can
    get assistance from a local or state housing authority that uses funds from a
    U.S. Housing and Urban Development program called Section 8. This program was
    the successor to public housing as we know it in this country. Instead of the
    government taking on the task of building and maintaining housing projects, like
    they did in great numbers during the 1960s and 1970s, now it provides financial
    assistance to home dwellers who need a helping hand.

    Basically, Section 8 funds pay the landlord rent money. The renter applies for a
    voucher (and there are several types to choose from ? check out HUD's renting
    section at its web site: http://www.hud.gov). They include:

    a.. Conversion Vouchers
    b.. Family Unification Vouchers
    c.. Homeownership Vouchers
    d.. Project Based Vouchers
    e.. Tenant Based Vouchers
    f.. Vouchers for People with Disabilities; and
    g.. Welfare-to-Work Vouchers
    The value of the voucher varies. The public housing authority pays the owner the
    difference between 30 percent of adjusted family income and a PHA determined
    payment standard or the gross rent for the unit, whichever is lower. The family
    may choose a unit with a higher rent than the payment standard and pay the owner
    the difference. It's a busy formula to figure, but your local PHA staff can help
    determine your voucher level.

    This voucher is what the renter then uses to rent a unit. I use the word unit,
    because it can be an apartment, condo, townhouse or single-family home. In some
    states, property owners can decide whether or not to use Section 8 vouchers,
    while other states require investors to use them if they're going to offer
    rental properties in the state.

    Section 8 housing has helped a lot of people when they need it most, giving them
    a leg up on the tough job of saving up money for a downpayment. By using the
    Section 8 program, the renter can now save more of his or her own money in
    preparation for buying a house in the future.

    Many low-income renters know about Section 8. What they may not know about is
    Section 42 -- the government program that can give Section 8 voucher holders
    extra punch for their dollar.

    Section 42 administers the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, introduced in 1986.
    LIHTC is a tax credit program developers use to construct or refurbish
    multifamily housing with the understanding that only residents who make 50 or 60
    percent of the local median income can rent the units. With that limitation, the
    developer can save hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in tax
    payments because they are helping fill the need for low-income housing. With
    these savings, they can then offer apartments under the market rate rent.

    ?Although there is considerable variation among properties, tax-credit
    properties tend to be small, newly constructed, and managed by their owners.
    Most are situated in central cities. The properties are intended to serve
    families, elderly persons, and disabled persons,? according to http://www.huduser.org,
    an online information source for housing and community development researchers
    and policymakers.

    Because of the quality of some of these units, potential renters in high-rent
    markets have been caught lying to get into these properties. Basically, the
    application process is the reverse of most housing processes ? the landlord
    tries to eliminate you because you make too much money, rather than the other
    way around.

    The vouchers are administered by the state, but the properties that accept
    Section 8 properties are privately owned and maintained ? and that's where you
    find the disconnect.

    Interested renters can find their state public housing authority web site by
    visiting the National Council of State Housing Agencies web site. There's no
    national or state-by-state database available for voucher holders to find
    private homes who accept Section 8 vouchers. Hopefully, HUD and the state level
    PHAs can rectify this problem to make the process less painful.

    Published: November 15, 2002

    Date: Fri Feb 21, 2003 10:42 am
    Subject: Budget102: Need Rent Money? Uncle Same Can Help

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    Anyone know of a plan like this in Canada? Blessings, Pat

    From: "Pat Price Flatt"
    Date: Fri Feb 21, 2003 12:55 pm
    Subject: Re: Budget101.com : Budget102: Need Rent Money? Uncle Same Can Help

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    I'm on the waiting list for the Section 8 voucher. It's a good
    program but there's a long wait to get it. In my area, the wait is two
    years.
    I've been in privately owned subsidized housing before and the
    places were nice and well kept. You need to be a bit careful about the
    place you choose because some places aren't so nice. You need to get a
    list of the subidized apartment complexes in your area, from the HUD
    website, and go and look at all the places first. Next, you need to
    apply for an apartment in the ones you like. Again, there'll be a
    waiting list to get into an apartment. At least, that's been my
    experience.
    It'd be nice if there was a program for very low income people to
    buy a home. My income from Social Security Disability is way too low for
    most of the programs that I've seen. I don't even qualify for a Habitat
    for Humanity home.

    Cheri

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    Hi Cherilee,

    I've just moved to the top of the list in my area. I applied on 10
    January, yes, this year. My appointment is this coming Monday. Each
    area varies with its waiting list.

    <<I've been in privately owned subsidized housing before and the
    places were nice and well kept. You need to be a bit careful about the
    place you choose because some places aren't so nice. You need to get a
    list of the subidized apartment complexes in your area, from the HUD
    website, and go and look at all the places first.>>

    Again, I think this varies from area to area. Here, you pick out the
    apartment and get approval from HUD, and it must meet their
    standards, including two exits. The apartment we're in at the moment
    will not qualify.

    <<Next, you need to apply for an apartment in the ones you like.
    Again, there'll be a waiting list to get into an apartment. At
    least, that's been my experience.>>

    This is probably singular to each area. I live in a fairly low
    population area, and from what I'm told, this is not the case here.
    A man around the corner from me came here and applied for HUD and was
    on within six months. His income is greater than mine. My income
    was the reason I was pushed to the top of the list perhaps a bit more
    quickly. The average waiting time in my area is three months.

    <<It'd be nice if there was a program for very low income people to
    buy a home. My income from Social Security Disability is way too low
    for most of the programs that I've seen. I don't even qualify for a
    Habitat for Humanity home.>>

    Ask HUD about this. From what I've been told, they *will* assist you
    in buying a home. They will use what they would allot for your rent
    toward the mortgage instead--but you must, I believe, have the down
    payment, if one is needed. Again, it must meet their requirements.

    On other things, Poppy, my apologies for not sending the Nine Layer
    Pudding recipe to the list yet. Our cat, who wasn't even three, died
    on the 4th, and we've taken it very hard. While I made the dinner as
    planned--and then some--I didn't make the pudding as a result. I'll
    post the recipe hopefully this weekend.

    Warmly,
    Michelle

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    Michelle,
    I live in an area with a large population, Florida, on the gulf
    coast below Tampa. The waiting period is lengthy. Also, if you're in one
    of four special catagories you can get in faster.
    Currently, I don't have anything for a downpayment. I'm trying
    to save money, as much as I can each month.

    Cheri

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    >
    > I've just moved to the top of the list in my area. I applied on 10
    > January, yes, this year. My appointment is this coming Monday. Each
    > area varies with its waiting list.
    That's today Michelle! How did it go?

    >
    > On other things, Poppy, my apologies for not sending the Nine Layer
    > Pudding recipe to the list yet. Our cat, who wasn't even three, died
    > on the 4th, and we've taken it very hard. While I made the dinner as
    > planned--and then some--I didn't make the pudding as a result. I'll
    > post the recipe hopefully this weekend.
    >
    > Warmly,
    > Michelle
    >
    I'm real sorry to hear about your loss. Losing a pet is so very hard.

    Mickey

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    Hi Mickey,

    I had the appointment on schedule Monday, even though I had
    lost our social security cards in all of these moves (I have the
    numbers, just not the cards) and, of all things, I discovered I'd
    also lost my own birth certificate but had the kids'! lol #2 son
    will take me to apply for the new social security cards this coming
    Monday and the proof of application will solve part one of this
    problem. I'll also get the new birth certificate at the same time.
    They want the actual birth certificate; neither a passport nor a
    driver's license will do.

    I can tell you unofficially, yes, I've been approved, although it's
    not actually official till after I have these other documents in this
    week as well as a letter from my publisher, telling about the
    royalties from my first book (minor stuff here), but the best news
    of all is I'll be officially approved and actually have the voucher
    in hand before the end of March!!!

    This is going to help *so much*!! I've been paying 67% of my
    income into rent and another 12% for the phone, leaving me
    with a maximum of 21% for everything else--food, emergencies,
    and so on--for the month, which is how I ended up trying to feed
    the kids and me on $50 a month. The food pantries here don't
    want you to show up more than once a month, so at times, as
    you know, it's been very rough. While I don't know the exact
    amount they're going to allot to me, based on income, of course,
    I understand my rent will now be somewhere around 25-33% of
    my income, and that's for a larger place and a larger rent
    allotment than I was able to afford before now! Obviously, it
    won't be a palace, but compared to the present situation, it will
    be a real blessing.

    A friend of my 15-yo lives with his dad in an apartment that's
    like a half-house. His father is on HUD as well even though he
    works outside the home, and I'm certain he makes more than
    I see in my income. It took him six months to get on HUD, not
    six to eight weeks. I don't know what his allotment is, but
    there's an apartment exactly like theirs right next door, and
    he's only paying $200 a month for 3 bedrooms, a dining room,
    a basement...has spacious rooms and closets, and they're
    allowed a dog and cat! We have so little closet space where
    we are, and the rooms are all much smaller--and I pay more
    than 250% more for this place--I just can't fit everything into
    its own place to keep our living quarters neat and clean.
    From what I gather, I'll be able to relax the food budget at last
    to beyond those scrapings and even save for a car and, in
    time, perhaps even save for the down payment on a house that
    HUD would continue to help us to get! (That is, if none of my
    books end up on the best seller list. )

    Mickey, I bought two pair of summer shoes in August 2001 for
    $10 and can't wear them because the plastic cuts into my feet
    and the construction is so poor, I'm in pain. That's the last
    item of clothing I bought. Before that, I bought a tee shirt for $5
    and a designer outfit that was cut dirt cheap to $5 (because the
    store was going out of business) in 1998. Maybe now I might
    even be able to buy myself something once in a while.
    Guess I'll need it if these books ever do end up best sellers...
    Oprah wouldn't want me to appear on her show in a tee shirt
    and slacks with holes in the legs. lol! (From my mouth! lol)

    We're *this close* to living more like other humans again,
    thanks to this program!


    > I'm real sorry to hear about your loss. Losing a pet is so very hard.

    It definitely was hard. The kids and I buried him the day before
    my 15-yo's birthday. My youngest and I were crushed, but the
    15-yo didn't expect to feel so hard hit by Toffee's death but even
    he was.

    Thanks again for asking, Mickey. We're almost on safe ground
    now!

    Warmly,
    Michelle

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    Michelle,
    Congrats on getting into the program. I wish the program here went
    that fast.
    Cheri

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