The Benefits and Challenges of Owning Section 8 Housing

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Housing assistance programs in the US started with the Great Depression. Since then, a number of different solutions have been proposed for the issue of low-income housing. Section 8 has been one of the most enduring. It’s been a fixture of the American housing landscape since its introduction in 1974.

Section 8 is a housing voucher program. Renters are provided with vouchers and must find housing themselves. The vouchers are provided to low-income families by local housing authorities. Vouchers are designed to pay up to 70% of housing and utility expenses. Tenants must provide the other 30% by themselves. Section 8 can be a great way for low-income working families to find a clean, safe, stable place to live.

Landlords can choose whether or not to accept tenants who rely on Section 8 vouchers. One of the great things about this program is that landlords know they’ll get at least 70% of the rent in full each month. That means that for small landlords, Section 8 tenants can be a great choice. Accepting vouchers also means that landlords will have more applicants for each vacancy. This means landlords can be more selective about finding a good fit for their property.

Of course, there can also be downsides to accepting Section 8. For one thing, it means more bureaucracy for a landlord to deal with. Renting to a Section 8 tenant means additional paperwork and additional inspections. It can also take up to 60 days for the first check from the public housing authority to arrive. That wait can be exasperating for some landlords.

Section 8 also means that the eviction process, should it come to that, is also more complicated. Judicial action is required to evict any Section 8 tenant, even in states where other eviction processes are permitted. Of course, screening tenants carefully at the beginning of the rental process is always the best way to avoid an eviction proceeding of any kind.

Many landlords have good experiences renting to Section 8 tenants. This is a program that works for everyone. It allows low-income families to choose safe housing that they like. It also helps landlords to avoid high vacancy rates. Overall, accepting Section 8 vouchers can be a great choice for savvy landlords.

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Written by

Ephraim Vashovsky is President of Vasco Ventures, one of New York City's leading real estate investment firms |

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