Georgia Department of Housing and Urban Development FAQs

  1. What is the Federal Housing Administration?
    The Federal Housing Administration provides mortgage insurance for lenders offering FHA loans. This mortgage insurance applies to single-family, multi-family and manufactured homes. FHA mortgage insurance also protects mortgages for hospitals and currently insures over 47.5 million properties throughout the United States and its territories.

  3. What is FHA mortgage insurance?
    FHA mortgage insurance protects lenders against homeowners who default on their mortgages. The FHA can offer low down payments and interest rates, because mortgage insurance allows its lenders to bear less financial risk. To obtain an FHA loan, mortgage insurance is mandatory.

  5. How do I find a free or reduced-cost HUD housing counselor?
    Housing counseling agencies can be found through the HUD website, or by calling a local HUD office to inquire about counseling agencies in the area. Telephone counseling is available through the HUD, and residents can also download a mobile phone application to locate free or reduced-cost counseling services.

  7. What can a HUD housing counselor charge me for?
    HUD housing counseling agencies can charge a reasonable fee to residents for specific counseling services. Counseling or education on pre-purchase decisions, rentals, reverse mortgages or post-purchases may include nominal fees. The agency must discuss this fee with the resident before counseling begins. Download our free guide to read more about housing counseling.

  9. What happens after I file a housing discrimination complaint with the HUD?
    After the complaint is filed, the HUD representative contacts the alleged violator and allows him or her to submit a response to the complaint. After a thorough investigation is completed by the HUD, reconciliation between both parties is attempted. Within 100 days of filing, the complainant will receive notification if the HUD cannot complete the investigation for any reason.

  11. Why is the HUD referring my housing discrimination complaint to another agency?
    Sometimes, the laws followed by the HUD and the powers granted are the same for a local Georgia state agency. If this is the case, the HUD refers the discrimination complaint to the local agency to complete the investigation and ruling. If investigation into the claim is not started by the agency within 30 days of the referral, the HUD may take the claim back to investigate. Review more information on housing discrimination complaints in our free, downloadable guide.

  13. Does the Fair Housing Act apply to my situation?
    If you are attempting to secure financing for a home, or you plan to buy or rent a home or property, all parties involved must adhere to the Fair Housing Act. It states that no housing provider, lender or home seller can discriminate based solely on race, gender, ethnicity, religion, age, veteran status, disability or family characteristics (the presence of children).

  15. Why are HUD homes so cheap?
    HUD homes are for sale because a homeowner has defaulted on an FHA loan. The HUD lists the homes at affordable prices so they will sell quickly. This alleviates the financial burden for the HUD and allows the agency to recover some of loss that occurred in the foreclosure. The HUD homes are often sold as-is with no money allotted to the buyer for home repairs.

  17. Can I make an offer on an HUD home, myself?
    To make an offer on an HUD home, a licensed real estate agent must be involved. Residents cannot make offers on HUD homes, themselves, and must enlist the assistance of real estate agents to submit the offers to the HUD and negotiate, if needed.

  19. What is the Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program?
    The Good Neighbor Next Door Program offers a 50 percent discount on the purchase price of an HUD home located in a Revitalization Area. Buyers in specific professions, including law enforcement officers, teachers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians, may qualify for this program. Buyers must use the home as a primary residence for at least 36 consecutive months.

  21. How do I know if I meet the income eligibility criteria for the Section 8 program?
    The income guidelines for the Section 8 program may vary by location, and each Public Housing Authority (PHA) may have different income guidelines. The HUD sets the income limitations for the program by analyzing an area’s median income and family size.

  23. Can I apply for the Section 8 housing program in multiple locations?
    Yes. Residents can apply for Section 8 housing assistance with multiple PHAs. Often, there is a long waiting list or a closed waiting list in specific locations, so eligible applicants are encouraged to apply at different PHAs to receive benefits in a timelier manner.

  25. How much assistance will I receive through the Section 8 program?
    The amount of financial assistance and vouchers awarded to eligible applicants depends on the family’s situation, income and location. The maximum amount of assistance awarded is calculated by the PHA, and is usually the lesser of the payment standard minus 30 percent of the family’s monthly adjusted income.

  27. How do I know if a Section 8 waiting list is open or closed?
    Many areas will offer information on Section 8 waiting lists on their websites. If the waiting lists are open, applications are accepted. However, there may still be a long wait for eligible applicants who do not qualify for local preference. Potential applicants should contact the desired PHA to ask about the waiting list.

  29. Who do I contact if my Section 8 application was denied because I am missing paperwork?
    The PHA that sent the denial notice should be contacted if missing paperwork or an incomplete application is the reason for Section 8 denial. An applicant can usually complete the application process with the PHA to determine eligibility for program benefits.

  31. What if I no longer have my Section 8 denial letter, but want to file an appeal?
    A request for an appeal can be sent in writing to the local HUD office or PHA. The letter should include the applicant’s contact information, explanation of the denial and reasons the applicant feels the denial was wrongful.

  33. What do I do once I receive Section 8 Housing Choice vouchers?
    The vouchers are used to assist with rent. As a tenant, it is your responsibility to adhere to all lease agreement terms. This includes keeping the property in good condition, paying rent on time and notifying the PHA of any changes to income or family composition.

  35. As a disabled tenant, is my housing provider required to build a handicap accessible ramp?
    It is not the responsibility of the housing provider to pay for and build a handicap ramp or to complete other modifications to a rental property for the use of a disabled tenant. However, the housing provider should allow a disabled tenant to reasonably modify the property to suit his or her needs. It is illegal for a housing provider to refuse these modifications.

  37. How can I find statistics and information on the HUD’s homelessness program?
    The HUD Exchange Homelessness Assistance page is an online source that offers training resources, award information, technical assistance and homeless subpopulation statistics.

  39. Are there additional homeless assistance programs for veterans?
    HUDVet, Vets@Home and additional programs funded and administered by the HUD are available for homeless veterans. Georgia veterans can also qualify for additional homelessness assistance programs in local areas implemented by organizations and agencies referred by the HUD.