Housing Authority opens voucher program

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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The Selma Housing Authority recently announced the opening of applications for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, previously known as Section 8, in Dallas and Wilcox counties. The application window commenced on Nov. 20 and will extend until Dec. 20 at 4 p.m. Notably, only online applications will be accepted during this period. 

The Housing Choice Voucher Program aims to assist very low-income families, the elderly and individuals with disabilities in securing decent, safe and sanitary housing within the private market. Participants have the flexibility to choose their housing, ranging from single-family homes to townhouses and apartments, without being confined to subsidized housing projects.

Kenard Randolph, President and CEO of the Selma Housing Authority, emphasized the program’s potential to offer more freedom in choosing living arrangements.

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“They can get the voucher for any house of their choosing,” Randolph said. “As long as the landlord is willing to participate.”

Randolph further highlighted the initiation of a home ownership program, enabling participants to become their own landlords.

Local public housing agencies (PHAs) administer housing choice vouchers, receiving federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for program administration. Families issued a housing voucher bear the responsibility of selecting a suitable housing unit, and meeting program requirements, including health and safety standards as determined by the PHA.

The PHA, on behalf of the participating family, directly pays a housing subsidy to the landlord, with the family covering the difference between the actual rent and the subsidized amount. Additionally, under specific circumstances, families may use the voucher to purchase a modest home, subject to PHA authorization.

Eligibility for the housing voucher hinges on factors such as total annual gross income, family size and immigration status. The family’s income generally may not surpass 50% of the median income for the county or area where they reside. This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens and specific categories of non-citizens with eligible immigration status.

As the application window remains open until Dec. 20 at 4 p.m., eligible individuals and families are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to secure housing assistance. For more information and to submit applications, please visit the Selma Housing Authority’s official website at https://selmahousing.com/.