Q: What is Section 8?

A: In the Sept. 28 issue, Jeff Simms reported on the sale of the Tompkins Terrace housing complex in Beacon. Rents for the apartments in the development are subsidized by the federal government through a voucher program known as Section 8, after the part of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 that authorizes assistance to low-income renters, including senior citizens and disabled people on fixed incomes and homeless families.

The program is administered locally by the Beacon Public Housing Authority. According to figures compiled by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, the local agency oversees 309 units in Beacon, and a total of 458 people.

The average family pays $449 per month in rent, and the federal government contributes $805. About 60 percent of households also receive subsidies for utilities that average $136 monthly.

The average annual household income for renters who have vouchers is $8,461 for individuals and $19,472 for families. In Beacon, the average wait time to receive a voucher is nearly five years.

In Putnam County there are 883 people and 587 units, with families paying an average of $400 monthly and HUD picking up $926. Eighty-six percent receive utility allowances that average $127. The average annual income of renters is $10,100 for individuals and $16,640 for households. The average wait time is just under three years.

Have a question we can answer? Email: [email protected]

Did you find this article useful or informative? Please consider a donation to support our work. Even $5 a month, charged automatically to your credit card, would be terrific. We are able to provide this website and our weekly print paper free to the community -- and pay our writers, photographers and editors for their hard work -- because of the generosity of readers like you.

One Response to "Q: What is Section 8?"

  1. Armanda Famiglietti   October 12, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    Thanks for the info but why do applicants have to wait years for vouchers?


What Do You Think?

The Current welcomes comments on its coverage and local issues. Submissions are selected by the editor to provide a variety of opinions and voices, and all are subject to editing for accuracy, clarity and length. We ask that writers remain civil and avoid personal attacks. Submissions must include your first and last name (no pseudonyms), as well as a valid email address. Please allow up to 24 hours for an approved submission to be posted. All online comments may also appear in print.

Your email address will not be published.