The Dos and Don’ts of Sharing a Section 8 Home

By: ROS Team

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The Section 8 Housing program, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, provides rental assistance to eligible low-income families, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities. This program allows individuals to live in private rental units while paying a portion of their income towards rent, with the rest covered by the voucher.

Sharing a Section 8 home with a roommate can offer a cost-effective solution for those in need of housing. However, it is crucial to choose the right roommate and to follow certain guidelines to make the arrangement work.

This blog post will provide the Dos and Don’ts of sharing a Section 8 home to help ensure a successful and harmonious living experience.

Dos of Sharing a Section 8 Home

Dos of Sharing a Section 8 Home
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1. Communication


Discussing Expectations and Responsibilities

Establishing clear lines of communication can prevent misunderstandings and conflicts in the future. It is important to discuss and agree on responsibilities such as chores, rent payments, and guests.

Regular Check-ins

Regular check-ins can help maintain open lines of communication and ensure that both roommates are satisfied with the living arrangement.

2. Sharing Expenses


Setting a Budget

Establishing a budget can help ensure that expenses are split fairly between roommates and prevent financial strain.

Splitting Expenses Fairly

Splitting expenses fairly can help prevent disagreements and ensure that each roommate is contributing their fair share.

3. Respect for Privacy


Setting Boundaries

It is important for each roommate to respect the other’s personal space and privacy. Setting boundaries can help establish a comfortable living environment for both roommates.

Maintaining Individual Spaces

Maintaining individual spaces can provide each roommate with their own private area, promoting a sense of independence and reducing conflicts.

4. Maintenance


Sharing Chores

Sharing chores can help keep the home clean and organized, preventing disagreements and ensuring a pleasant living environment.

Reporting Maintenance Issues

Reporting maintenance issues promptly can help prevent further damage and ensure that the home is well-maintained.

Don’ts of Sharing a Section 8 Home

Don’ts of Sharing a Section 8 Home
Photo Credit: Canva


1. Misusing Housing Benefits


Understanding Section 8 Rules and Regulations

It is important for roommates to understand the rules and regulations of the Section 8 program to avoid misuse or abuse of the benefits.

Avoiding Fraud or Abuse of the System

Roommates should avoid any fraudulent or abusive activities related to the Section 8 program to maintain their eligibility for the program.

2. Ignoring Lease Agreements


Following Lease Guidelines

Roommates should follow the guidelines outlined in the lease agreement to maintain a positive relationship with their landlord and to avoid lease violations.

Avoiding Lease Violations

Avoiding lease violations can help maintain a positive relationship with the landlord and prevent legal consequences.

3. Breaking the Law


Abiding by Local Laws and Regulations

Roommates should abide by local laws and regulations to maintain a safe and secure living environment.

Avoiding Criminal Activities

Roommates should avoid criminal activities to maintain a positive living environment and to prevent legal consequences.

4. Neglecting Hygiene


Maintaining a Clean Living Environment

Maintaining a clean living environment can help prevent health issues and create a pleasant living space for both roommates.

Respecting Personal Hygiene Habits

Respecting each other’s personal hygiene habits can help maintain a clean and hygienic living environment and prevent conflicts.

Who Can Live With You on Section 8?

In general, any individual who is listed on the lease agreement and approved by the housing authority can live with you on Section 8.

Who Can Live With You on Section 8
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However, there are certain restrictions and requirements that must be met by those who live in a Section 8 home:

  • Eligibility: All individuals living in the home must be eligible for the Section 8 program and meet the income requirements set by the housing authority.
  • Household Size: The number of individuals living in the home must be within the limits set by the housing authority. The number of individuals allowed to live in a Section 8 home is based on the number of bedrooms in the unit.
  • Background Checks: Some housing authorities may require background checks on all individuals living in the home to ensure they have no criminal history that could pose a threat to the safety of others.
  • Rent Contributions: All individuals living in the home are responsible for paying their portion of the rent, as determined by the housing authority.
  • Relationships: Roommates must have a landlord-tenant relationship, and the arrangement cannot be used for any illegal purposes, such as drug activity or human trafficking.


It is important to consult with the housing authority for specific rules and requirements for your area.

What Happens to the Section 8 Voucher if the Head of Household Dies in NYC?

If the head of household on a Section 8 voucher passes away in New York City. It can impact the family’s ability to continue receiving assistance. The exact process and outcome can vary depending on the circumstances, but here are some general guidelines:

  • Notify the Housing Authority: The family should immediately notify the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) of the death of the head of the household to avoid overpayment and to determine what options are available to the family.
  • Designated Survivor: If there is a designated survivor listed on the lease agreement, they may be able to continue receiving assistance. However, the housing authority will conduct an eligibility review to determine if the survivor is eligible and if the household size has changed.
  • Transfer of Assistance: If the designated survivor is not eligible for assistance, the family may be able to transfer the voucher to a new head of household if they meet the eligibility requirements. The new head of household must go through a verification process, including a background check and income review.
  • Termination of Assistance: If there is no eligible survivor, the family may lose their Section 8 voucher, and the housing authority will terminate the assistance.


It is important to consult with the housing authority for specific rules and requirements in your situation. They can provide guidance on the steps to take and the options available to the family.

What is the Most Section 8 Will Pay?

The amount paid by the Section 8 program towards rent varies based on the local housing authority, the family’s income, the reasonable rent amount, and the unit size. The program provides rental assistance to families whose income is less than 50% of the median income in their area. The amount paid towards rent will not exceed the Fair Market Rent set by HUD.

Can a Single Person Qualify for Section 8?

Yes, a single person can qualify for Section 8 assistance. Eligibility is determined based on income and family size, not just the number of individuals in the household. To be eligible, the person’s income must be below the local median income and meet other requirements set by the housing authority.

What can Cause you to Lose Your Section 8 Voucher?

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A person can lose their Section 8 voucher due to a variety of reasons, including:

  • Failure to Comply with Program Rules: Not following the program’s rules and regulations, such as failing to report changes in income or family size, can result in the termination of assistance.
  • Criminal Activity: Engaging in illegal activities, such as drug use or criminal behavior, can result in the termination of assistance.
  • Ineligible Household Members: Allowing individuals who are not eligible for the program to live in the assisted unit can result in the termination of assistance.
  • Fraud: Engaging in fraud, such as providing false information on the application, can result in the termination of assistance.
  • Termination of Lease: Terminating the lease agreement with the landlord or failing to pay rent can result in the termination of assistance.


It is important to comply with all program requirements and rules to maintain eligibility for Section 8 assistance.

The Bottom Line

Sharing a Section 8 home can be a great option for families who are looking to reduce their housing costs and increase their ability to find affordable housing.

However, it is important to follow the rules and regulations set by the housing authority to maintain eligibility for the program. Understanding the dos and don’ts of sharing a Section 8 home. As well as the eligibility requirements can help families make informed decisions about their housing options.