The Housing Choice Voucher Program is a rental assistance program for low-income persons/families. It is also known as the Section 8 Program or Housing Choice Voucher Program. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is the federal government’s major program for assisting low-income persons/families in the private market. To be eligible for rental assistance through the Hastings Housing Authority, a person/family must meet income guidelines as established by HUD, be a U.S. citizen or non-citizen with eligible immigration status, pass a criminal background check and other suitability criteria. The income guidelines are based on gross annual income. To be eligible, the person/family cannot exceed the following annual income limits:
Number in Household Annual Income
Applications are available at the Housing Authority office or they will be mailed upon request. After an application is received by the Housing Authority, information will be input in the computer system. The waiting list is currently 3-5 months but is subject to change without notice. As soon as your name is at the top of the list, a letter will be sent requesting you to call and setup an initial appointment. At the initial appointment a current driver’s license or state-issued photo identification will be required for all adult (18 years of age or older) members of the household.
The federal government requires third-party verifications of all income, assets and family composition. Therefore, you will be required to sign several verification forms that will be sent directly to the sources. It will also be helpful if you bring the names and addresses of all household income sources, as well as the names and addresses of all banks that you have accounts in. The verification process can take 30-60 days to complete. To request an application, call (402) 463-1061 from 9 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office closes at 3 p.m. every fourth Tuesday of the month.
At such time as the Hastings Housing Authority can provide assistance, you will be required to attend a “briefing” and you will sign a Housing Voucher. At the time of the “briefing,” you will be given a sheet providing you with the rental limitations of your household when searching for a unit. This voucher document provides you with 60 days to find a rental unit of your choice within the rent limits, as established by your household income and HUD regulations. Complete and return the necessary form for the rent subsidy of the unit. Once the necessary forms are submitted to the office, an inspection will be completed of the rental unit by Housing Authority personnel. If the unit passes the inspection, the landlord will sign a contract with the Housing Authority to allow you to receive rental assistance in the unit. You may receive rental assistance as long as you remain eligible for the program.
The Hastings Housing Authority is usually able to issue a Housing Choice Voucher within 3-6 weeks after an initial appointment. The Hastings Housing Authority currently preferences individuals or families displaced by government action, veterans, elderly and disabled families, and families with dependents. Preferred applications are ordered by date and time as are non-preferred applications. The Housing Choice Voucher Program does not provide emergency-type assistance. It is best to not wait until it is an emergency to complete the application process.