The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development does a wonderful thing by allowing those with limited incomes to afford to rent suitable apartments at reasonable prices. This is more commonly known as a Section 8 Lease, although there are other programs that are similar. It’s a great housing initiative that can help those who work hard but need a little extra help. Here are five things to know about income-restricted rentals.

EligibilityAffordable Housing Lease Agreements

Keep in mind that eligibility can differ depending on the location, but in most cases, you will be eligible for an income-restricted rental if your household income is less than 50% of the median income in an area. You will have to show proof of your income on a yearly basis to make sure that you remain eligible, but as long as your income checks out, there’s no reason why you won’t be able to stay in an income-restricted rental long term.


Many people may be surprised to hear that income-restricted apartments can often be found in good neighborhoods. This is by no means a guarantee of where you’ll end up with an income-restricted rental, but the odds are good you’ll be in a safe neighborhood that’s close to public transportation, allowing you to get to work, school, and grocery stores without too much hassle.


Income-restricted rental programs are more common than many people realize, so it’s not that difficult to search for one and find a listing of potential apartments in your area. It is common for rental companies to offer both conventional and income-restricted properties, as the rental units are often in close proximity to one another. Many apartment guides will show income-restricted options, and so they are not hard to find if you know what to look for.

Not For Emergencies

It’s important to keep in mind that income-restricted rentals are not for emergency situations in which a person needs a place to stay right away. Most programs are designed for low-income families who are looking for a long-term place to stay, and because of this, there are often waitings lists for rentals. It can sometimes take months, or even years, to get to the top of the waiting list, so don’t expect to always be able to move in right away.

Utilities Included

This can change depending on the area or the renter, but utilities are generally included in the price of rent for an income-restricted rental. You should always check to see exactly what is covered, as you probably won’t be able to receive the most expensive cable package with your rent, but the basics like water and gas should be covered.