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You might be aware that Zillow lists homes for rent in virtually every community on its platform. If you qualify for Section 8 vouchers and are wondering if they are accepted by Zillow, we can help you. We researched this company in depth so that you'll know for sure if these vouchers are taken.
Zillow does not accept payments for rental property, as they are only a listing platform. Payments go directly to the landlord or property management company. Therefore, any Section 8 voucher would go from the housing agency to the landlord or property manager. Properties that accept Section 8 vouchers are listed on Zillow, however, though they can be a little tricky to search for.
Now that we know that Zillow does not directly accept Section 8 vouchers, we'll take a look at how to find a property on Zillow that accepts these government subsidies. You might also be curious about the maximum amount Section 8 will pay for rent, or if the value of Section 8 vouchers will vary from state to state. For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has uncovered.
Renting A Home On Zillow With Section 8 Vouchers
If you've qualified for a Section 8 voucher and are wanting to use Zillow to search for a new home, it can take some time to search. But there is a process you can follow to make your search a bit easier.
When on the home screen for Zillow, enter your desired city and then click "Rent." Near the top of the next screen, you have several buttons that you can click to help you narrow down your search. Number of bedrooms, price range, etc. will be options.
Find one that says "More." Click it, and it will open a new window where you can click the box marked "Income restrictions." At the bottom of this window, type in "Section 8" in the keywords field. Hit search and you'll find properties listed that take the Section 8 vouchers.
Do a little extra homework and look at the bottom of every listing for the contact information for the lister. Contact them directly to verify that they take these vouchers. This will eliminate any listing errors.
Can I Use A Section 8 Voucher Anywhere In The United States?
Life happens, and sometimes that means unexpected changes that include moving out of state. Suppose you are settled in a place in Kansas with a landlord that accepts your Section 8 voucher.
But you suddenly find yourself needing to move across the country to Virginia to be closer to family or for a new job opportunity. What about your voucher?
Thankfully, your vouchers are portable. It doesn't matter where you qualify, you can take your vouchers anywhere inside the United States. So if you find yourself in a position where a move is a necessity, trying to apply for a new voucher is one less thing you'll need to worry about.
You will need to get a transfer packet, however. Notify your Public Housing Authority about your impending move. They will walk you through the process of filling out the transfer information so that your voucher stays intact.
What Is The Most Section 8 Will Pay?
The amount of money that a Section 8 voucher is worth is a little complicated to calculate. It's more than just a blanket face value amount that is attached to them. There is a formula involved that will mean different amounts for different people and different amounts for different areas.
To calculate how much a voucher is worth involves the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Your local Public Housing Authority assists as well. Finally, a person's income and unit size are factored in.
Let's take a look at how all of the above will determine what Section 8 will pay.
Housing And Urban Development
On the federal level, HUD carefully examines more than 2,500 metropolitan areas. This agency looks at these areas to calculate what they consider to be the fair market rent of each. The rental data for the previous 15 months is used to calculate this number.
They use two-bedroom units as their standard. When they set the fair market rent for that area within the 40th percentile. This means that 60 percent of rentals in the area will be at a higher rate than their fair market value.
Public Housing Authority
Locally, your Public Housing Authority will use the data generated by HUD. They look at how many units that qualify for Section 8 the area has. They also examine how long it takes an average household to qualify and move into a Section 8 property from the waiting list.
The Public Housing Authority will then use all available data to determine its payment standard. This is based on the number of bedrooms. They will generally pay between 90 and 110 percent of the fair market value determined by HUD.
But there is more to determining how many sections 8 will pay. Now we need to factor in your individual circumstances.
Your Individual Situation
The two most significant factors here are your income and the number of bedrooms. Section 8 is developed to subsidize your income in the form of rental payments. HUD and the Public Housing Authority expect a person to pay 30 percent of their income towards rent each month.
But there will be a shortfall between that number and what the rent is. HUD pays out the difference with the Section 8 voucher. Let's say your income is $2,100 each month, making $700 available for rent. If your rent is $1,500 a month, HUD's Section 8 voucher will be worth $800, payable directly to your landlord.
The cap on how much this voucher is worth will be based on the number of bedrooms. Location counts too, as we mentioned earlier in this post.
If you are renting a place that is still more expensive than your 30 percent and the voucher amount combined, you can still rent it but would have to pay the difference out of pocket.
Is The Value Of A Section 8 Voucher Different For Each State?
The value of a Section 8 voucher takes into consideration the fair market rate that is established by HUD. This is based on data from over 2,500 metropolitan areas across the United States.
Though the vouchers are issued by HUD at the federal level, it is left up to local Public Housing Authorities to qualify individuals and administer the funds.
Some states will add to these voucher amounts. Others are hands-off and only leave the governance to the local levels within the state.
The value of the voucher will differ more by metropolitan area than by the state. But to see if your state has any additional assistance, contact your local Public Housing Authority. They will be able to see if there are any state programs available and help you to see if you qualify.
Zillow is not a receiver of any rental funds, so it doesn't take money or Section 8 vouchers. But Zillow does have many rental listings on their platform that do accept the funds.
Finding Section 8 housing on Zillow can take a little more time, but by following a few extra steps you should be able to get a list of properties that do accept these vouchers fairly easily.
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