What are the qualifications to get into Section 8 housing? Does the city mow the lawns at all of the houses?
Charlotte Knoche, director of rental assistance programs for the Lawrence Housing Authority, said eligible applicants for Section 8 housing must:
- Fill out an application and provide Social Security and birth documentation.
- Qualify as "very low income" residents, using federal income guidelines. A family of four, for example, could not have an annual gross family income of more than $20,750.
- Be free of any debts from any previous federally assisted housing program.
- Not have been arrested for or convicted of any drug-related or violent criminal activity.
- Be a U.S. citizen or registered as a legal alien.
- Never have lost housing assistance for breaking rules, such as defrauding the program or leaving a residence without proper notice.
Neither the city nor the housing authority mows lawns for residents in Section 8 housing.
"This is a federal housing assistance program, in which tenants rent from private landlords throughout the community," she said. Either the tenant or the landlord is responsible for lawn maintenance, as specified in a lease.
The housing authority does, however, maintain lawns in other public housing, such as Edgewood Homes, Babcock Place and other multi-unit dwellings, Knoche said. In single-family housing operated by the authority, however, lawn care is the responsibility of the tenants.