What are the pros and cons of the Section 8 homeownership program?


Buying a house on Section 8 vouchers is one of the best benefits of the homeownership program. It alleviates many issues that accompany a low income.

Through the program, recipients can benefit from having their own homes and working toward financial freedom.

With a rent-to-own agreement, beneficiaries can build home equity. With this important asset, families can begin to be more financially independent and raise their current standard of living.

Eventually, the homeowners will also have the ability to sell their homes and earn a profit, assuming the PHA has no recapture provisions.  

The biggest disadvantage with the Section 8 home purchase program is the waiting list. Eligible applicants can wait anywhere from months to years to receive their voucher, as demand is very high with limited funding.

In some cases, priority is given to the elderly, the disabled or applicants with special circumstances. Each public housing agency (PHA) creates its own way of prioritizing the applicants on the waiting list.

Some PHAs close their Section 8 homeownership applications if the waiting list becomes full. If this is the case, recipients must regularly check with their local PHA for updates on availability.

Depending on the jurisdiction, applicants may know their exact place on the list by contacting their local PHA office.