Having a shelter is a basic human right. However, in recent years, the cost of housing in Las Vegas has skyrocketed. This has hindered many low-income households from affording decent shelter. Fortunately, government housing grants for low-income families exist.
As of 2019, there are over 21,000 households in the Las Vegas area receiving assistance from the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. According to the Las Vegas Housing Authority, over 8,000 of these households are elderly or disabled.
Here's what you need to know to find Section 8 housing Las Vegas.
Understanding Section 8 Housing [Las Vegas]
Section 8 housing is a program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that provides rental assistance to low-income families.
In Las Vegas, the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority (SNRHA) administers the Section 8 program. It manages over 5,000 Section 8 vouchers and over 1,000 public housing units.
The SNRHA also offers a variety of other housing programs, such as the Family Self-Sufficiency Program and the Homeownership Program.
The median income for a household receiving Section 8 assistance in Las Vegas is $19,000 annually. Over 25% of Section 8 households in Las Vegas have an annual income of less than $10,000.
Eligibility for Section 8 housing in Las Vegas is based on income, family size, and other factors.
The SNRHA uses a point system to determine who is eligible for the housing program.
Here are the eligibility requirements:
- At least 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen or documented immigrant
- Income must not exceed 50% of medium income in the area
- Must not be a convicted sex offender or a previously evicted lessee due to a serious lease violation such as drug use
As of 2021, Las Vegas has a median household income of $70,800. To qualify for Section 8 housing, your household's median income must be $35,400 and below. If there are dependents in your household (elderly, children) and you're currently unhoused, your application will be prioritized.
How To Apply
The average wait time for a Section 8 voucher in Las Vegas is approximately 3 years. When you're ready to apply, you need to follow these steps:
- Secure an application form from the SNRHA online portal
- Prepare extensive documentation supporting your status as a low-income household
- Wait for the confirmation letter saying you've qualified for the waiting list
- If there are changes in your income, family composition, or mailing address during the waiting period, notify the SNRHA immediately
- Attend the briefing when you're summoned
- Wait for the voucher and paperwork to get your apartment approved
The most challenging part of the application process is navigating the online portal and completing all the documentation required. The government wants to ensure that the most deserving households get into the program, so it asks for a lot of documentary evidence.
Waiting can also be challenging, but with the number of people waiting to get their vouchers, this is inevitable. When you apply for Section 8 housing Las Vegas, be ready to wait.
Finding Section 8 Housing In Las Vegas
As soon as you get your voucher, you have 90 days to find housing. For elderly and disabled applications, you have 120 days before the vouchers expire.
Here's how to find Section 8 housing in Las Vegas:
- Search for a place online by going to AffordableHousing.com or this map made by the HUD.
- Document your house search, including all the meetings with landlords and submitted applications. You can use this as proof to apply for a 30-day extension if you pass the 90-day limit.
- As soon as you find an apartment, send a copy of the lease agreement and the "request for tenancy approval" to the SNRHA.
- Wait for the housing authority representative to inspect the apartment before you move in. They will certify that it's "decent housing."
- Once everything is approved, you can move into your new apartment.
If you see any apartment listings that say "no section 8", you can report them to the SNRA. This is illegal and unacceptable.
Likewise, be prepared for the SNRHA to conduct annual inspections and recertifications to ensure your apartment complies with its program requirements.
Get Help For Your Housing Needs Today
Owning and renting a house is expensive in Las Vegas, but with Section 8 housing vouchers, low-income families can get the help they deserve. The process may be tedious and long, but it shouldn't dissuade you from getting assistance.
Practicing diligence and patience are key to getting better housing subsidized by the government. Get started with the tips above and be on your way to a more comfortable home.
Are you a veteran? Learn how to get specially adapted housing grants for veterans with PTSD in this guide.