According to the Census Bureau, around 25% of Fresno families are underneath the poverty line. For those families, finding ways to secure food, bedding, and clothes is difficult enough — much less housing. So, what do you do if you need access to critical housing, but you don’t have the money to secure a rental home or apartment?
While things may seem bleak, don’t give up. There are a variety of government assistance programs designed to ensure that you and your family have access to housing without destroying your bank account. One of these programs — Section 8 housing — helps families across America with rent assistance and housing support.
But every state has its own version of Section 8. What does the Section 8 program look like in Fresno CA? How is it run? And what is Section 8 in the first place?
Let’s look at how Section 8 may be able to help you find renting support in the city where the average rent price is over $1,000.
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers Section 8 housing — an affordable housing program to help people find clean and safe homes at a discount. Section 8 provides vouchers directly to renters that they can utilize to help them pay rent. In turn, landlords can use Section 8 vouchers to get paid directly through the HUD. It’s a win-win situation for both landlords and renters that helps drive costs down and gives everyone a chance to get a place to live.
In Fresno California, Section 8 isn’t technically a thing. The Fresno Housing Authority (FHA) hands out Housing Choice Vouchers — which are the same thing as Section 8, but for the state of California. In Fresno County alone, there are over 12,000 people who currently utilize Housing Choice Vouchers to help them find housing assistance. Plus, there are over 3,000 owners that rent out to people using Housing Choice Vouchers — giving you a wide range of housing options to choose from.
Are you wondering, “where can I find section 8 apartments near me?”, then you’re in the right place. There are a variety of places to find Section 8 housing in Fresno, including a few you might not have guessed.
Yes! That Craigslist (some people refer to it as “Craig’s” list Fresno.) The Craigslist Fresno CA (Craigslist.com Fresno) section of Craigslist is a great place to start your Section 8 house or Craigslist Fresno apartments search. Most apartment landlords will list whether or not an apartment or home accepts Section 8 (also look for the term “Housing Choice Vouchers”.) Finding Craigslist Fresno houses for rent is easy. But you can narrow your search by what you’re looking for.
You can search by area, home type, or even pet-friendliness. Here are some example search terms that may come in handy.
Also, remember that Craigslist (Craigslist en Fresno Cal) is Spanish-friendly. So, you can include search terms like:
Another great place to find Section 8 houses for rent in Fresno CA is, believe it or not, Offer Up. This semi-new app is another “everything” app like Craigslist. And, like Craigslist, it has some houses listed for sale or rent. Try browsing the Offer Up Fresno CA section of the app to see if there are any available.
If you want to get straight to the point, check out www.gosection8.com. Gosec8.com is an amazing resource since it only searches Section 8 housing. So, if you want to find Fresno homes for rent, GoSection8 can help you find it fast. Remember, this won’t be all Section 8 housing. You should check all resources to find homes for rent in Fresno CA — not just GoSection8.com.
How do you know if you qualify for Section 8? There are a variety of factors that go into determining Section 8 eligibility. Here are the criteria for Section 8 eligibility.
Let’s go over a few of the benefits of Section 8 housing.
This gets a little complicated. On the surface, Section 8 pays for any rent amount that’s over 30% of your income. So, let’s say that you make $1,500 a month. The average apartment in Fresno, CA costs a little over $1,000. In this case, the government would help by paying over $500 a month for your rent. Since 30% of $1,500 is $450, the government would pay an additional $550 if your rent was $1,000.
But that’s just the basics. Let’s dive a little deeper. First, the HUD determines a “Fair Market Price” for all homes in a specific area. To do that, they look at 2-bedroom homes. They average the home prices, and use that as the “Fair Market Price” (technically, they only use 2-bedrooms that are over 2 years old, exclude nursing homes, and all “below-market-rent” units.)
Then, they take this “Fair Market Price” and apply it to everyone using Section 8. So, if you only rent a 1-bedroom, it will still be classified as a two-bedroom. Likewise, if you rent a four-bedroom, it will still be classified as a two-bedroom.
Next, they take that “Fair Market Price” and set it at 40/60. This means that they make the price based on 40% above market rent and 60% below market rent. This skews the figures in the low region. So, the HUD median income “Fair Market Value” will always be lower than the actual “Fair Market Value” (by up to 10%.)
Finally, they dictate that the tenant must pay:
If utilities are included with the unit, they will simply pay them as part of the remaining part of your payment (i.e., everything over 30% of your adjust monthly income.) If you pay utilities separately, they offer utility vouchers — which function similar to Housing Choice Vouchers.
In 2020, Fair Market Rent in Fresno California will be $980 for a two-bedroom house (or apartment) as dictated by the HUD. So, let’s say that you make $1,500 a year. And, let’s say that you find a place with all-bills-paid that’s $1,200.
Here’s how it works. You would first have to pay 30% of your adjusted monthly income (i.e., $450). At this point, the government would pay the landlord an additional $750 (this includes the utility voucher) via vouchers. The landlord can then cash those vouchers in with HUD to receive the rest of their rent. The landlord is happy, you’re happy, and everyone gets what they want.
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