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Know Your Rights » » Low Income Housing » Subsidized Housing & Section 8

HUD Subsidized Housing

1) Program Overview

Housing and Urban Development, or HUD housing, is also known as project based Section 8. HUD housing is multifamily complexes that are privately owned and subsidized by the federal government. HUD housing is available to people with incomes at or below 30% or 50% of the area median income, and some buildings are reserved specifically for elderly or disabled renters or people who are currently without a permanent address who are seeking housing. Generally, private owners hire companies to manage the properties. HUD inspections occur regularly to ensure housing quality and tenant income must be certified annually. Tenants are required to report all changes to household members and income to the management promptly. All household members receiving a subsidy are required to prove legal residency under HUD rules. You can read HUD rules directly at HUD Occupancy Requirements of Subsidized Multifamily Housing Programs.

2) Waiting List and Application Process

Each HUD building maintains its own waiting list, and waiting list times vary from building to building. HUD properties are listed on HUD’s website at HUD Affordable Apartment Search http://www.hud.gov/apps/section8/step2.cfm?state=WA%2CWashington and on Apartment Finder http://www.aptfinder.org/. Each building has a different set of eligibility criteria, and tenants are screened for eviction records, credit, criminal background and rental history. For more information see Housing Search.

3) HUD Housing Eviction

Tenants can be evicted from HUD housing for non-compliance with the rental agreement or tenant duties under landlord-tenant law, failure to supply information necessary to verify income or other good cause. Landlords must follow the state law eviction process, except a tenant is entitled to 30 days’ notice when being asked to leave for other good cause.

Termination notices for tenants in HUD subsidized housing must give tenants an opportunity to request a meeting with the owner of the building. The meeting with the owner is an opportunity for the tenant to present evidence that their termination is improper. The request must be made in writing within 10 days, and an owner’s failure to notify a tenant of their rights to such a meeting could be a defense in the eviction lawsuit. Read detailed information on HUD tenants’ rights in an eviction at Washington Law Help’s HUD Housing Evictions. .

4) HUD Tenant Right to Organize

Residents of HUD subsidized housing explicitly have the legal right to organize in their buildings. This includes the right to distribute flyers and have meetings without management present. It is illegal for the landlord to retaliate against tenants living in HUD subsidized buildings who use their right to organize. Project based tenants in Washington State also have the right to get one year’s notice if the landlord is planning on opting out of the program in order to rent the units at market rate. This gives tenant groups time to organize to preserve the long-term affordability of their building.