Section 8

I am new to the and have been reading many posts. I have been researching many options in REI, however I am not sure where to start. My gut feeling is that the Section 8 housing would be a good start. In my area there is a demand for that type of housing. I have spoke to a few other investors & they tend to stay away from Section 8 with many horror stories. My other question how can you find the rental rates for Section 8 properties on the web?

I do not have alot of cash to start but the books I have read say to get into the rental market to create the steady cash flow. Is Section 8 a good place to start?

I have also considered a flip with a hard money loan for the first property and would filp for profit to get some cash on hand for the next deal?

Any thoughts either way let me know. It appears that there is alot of support in the forums & I look forward being here.



If you are going into the rental business, then I would not focus on Section 8 housing. Section 8 is simply a government program that subsidizes low income tenants. The tenants are exactly the same as “normal” low income tenants - no better or worse. Therefore, I would simply focus on setting up a successful rental property business and take the first qualified tenant regardless of how the rent is being paid.

I am not aware of anywhere you can find section 8 rents online. Section 8 rents vary for each individual tenant, so I don’t believe that an internet list would be possible.

Good Luck,


I can’t speak on Section 8 as a landlord, and I, too, have heard all of the horror stories.

However, there are so many people using Section 8 subsidies, and there are so many landlords getting wealthy with these tenants, that I don’t think you can just say “Section 8 is bad.”

I think it’s all about selecting the right tenant and managing problems quickly when they arise, regardless of who is paying the bills.

It’s like most things in life…no one really speaks up when something good happens or things work the way they are supposed to. So it goes to reason that all you’ll hear about Section 8 are those horror stories.

If you go to the HUD website you can go to the landlord section and at the bottom of the page there is a fair market rent section you can check.

I hope this helps.

Everyone also thinks Section 8 housing has to be in very poor areas. When in fact alot of blue collar black neighborhoods where most of the families have 2 incomes have section 8. These are black family neighborhoods where the woman generally work for the local gov’t in low paying jobs, or school and hospitals and the men are into landscaping, construction, warehouse work, etc. More on the labor side or very low mgmt position.

I am even starting to see in my area where section 8 is moving to better areas where it is maybe 30% black now because you can actually get much more money. I work with someone who is putting a section 8 tennant in her home since shes moving to GA and does not want to sell it yet since market went soft and no equity b/c of a prepay. With a regular tennant she will get $1200 a month but the section 8 tennant moving April 1st will be getting her $1900 a month with the tennant only paying $115 a month out of that.

If you plan on a section 8 tennat, then you can request to see there current home and you will know by its condition,. Not all of them are slobs. Also make sure they come with the kids and see how they act. This is important. I also find if you can put a tennat in a section 8 in a better area with better schools, you will find a better tennant since they are trying to get their kids ahead in life. Just got to ask the right questions.

I think a lot of people could take this statement the wrong way. Either you need to fine-tune your writing, or you need to fine-tune your thinking.

I’m hoping it’s the former.

^^^^I was thinking the same thing.

No body is getting rich off of Section 8. Section 8 determines the fair market rent, which is the max amount you can charge. There is no reason to not charge the max, so you definitely need to either go online or call your local Section 8 to find out the fair market rent they have determined. The fair market rent changes year by year. For example last year my 4-bed max was $840 now in 2007 it is $888. So I will be adjusting that rent and others accordingly with the new 2007 increases.


Yrush has been on this forum a long time and I don’t think that he intended his post to be racist in any way.

However, just to set the record straight, race has absolutely nothing to do with section 8. If you are investing in a low income area where a high percentage of the population is black, you’ll have a lot of black section 8 tenants. Here in my little corner of Ohio, my typical Section 8 tenant is a young, single white mother with more than one child by more than one man. Your section 8 tenants look like the population. There is no stereotypical Section 8 tenant.

While we’re on the topic of race, let me say this. Regardless of the area, it is BLATANTLY STUPID (and illegal) to discriminate for any reason. Landlords are in business to make money and GREEN is the only color that matters.


Thank you for a justified reply to a sensitive post PM. Your insight is always welcomed to a new investor like myself who happens to be an African American.

All this talk of race and Section 8 made me think of my experience. I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone but a white female with children ask if I would accept Section 8. All of my Section 8 tenants are white females. I would wager females are what make up the majority of the Section 8 tenants. Mostly because they are usually the ones who take the kids in a divorce or breakup and they are the most resourceful at finding ways to take care of their family.

I don't think I've ever had anyone but a white female with children ask if I would accept Section 8. All of my Section 8 tenants are white females. I would wager females are what make up the majority of the Section 8 tenants. Mostly because they are usually the ones who take the kids in a divorce or breakup and they are the most resourceful at finding ways to take care of their family.

Being the very sensitive person that I am, I wouldn’t want to say anything politically incorrect. However, the young white females with multiple kids by multiple men are not victims of divorce or breakup. They are working the system! More kids = more money. It is just that simple and disgusting! I have a tenant right now who has SAID that she is trying to get pregnant so that she will get more money from the government. She is a SLUT - the man doesn’t matter - she just wants the money.

I previously thought that only about 25% of the population were deadbeats, however I must admit that I was wrong. I am now completely convinced that at least 1/3 of the U.S. population are lazy deadbeat losers (and that number is increasing all the time). As business owners - LOOK OUT! The government will increasingly be looking at us as a sources of “fees” and taxes that can be used to support these lazy deadbeats.

Iron Range - thanks for causing me to nearly have a stroke so early in the morning!!! This subject really gets my blood pressure up!


I definitely wouldn’t want to use the word “victim”, although sometimes in sad cases it is true. I used the word “resourceful” which I have found to be fairly accurate. But the females are usually the ones who take the kids after a divorce, break up or one night stand so that is why I’ve probably never had a man ask me if I take Section 8.

Section 8 saves many from certain failure, while at the same time crippling them. I’ve seen it in apartment buildings as well. One place I walked through was a big apartment building in the middle of no where. Without Section 8 it would be almost empty, but with Section 8 the max rent allowed was so low you would have to get it for free to even break even. So Section 8 was a savior and a crippler for this apartment building.


What gets my blood boiling is tenants who won’t call me back or answer their phones. That just eats me alive inside.

When a tenant won’t call me back, then I simply knock loud and long on their door at about 8am. Almost all of the lazy deadbeats sleep in til noon (that might be a reason they are deadbeats). Of course, if they don’t pay the rent on time, I don’t bother calling them, I just evict them. NO CONVERSATION REQUIRED!