Also known as the Housing Choice Vouchers Program, Section 8 is a federally funded government program that provides affordable housing for over 4 million residents in the United States. Under this program, eligible residents receive vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help pay their rent. There are certain stipulations that must be met in order to qualify.

Here are the four stipulations for receiving Section 8.

1. Your Family Status

If you and a roommate are looking for a place to live, and are hoping to qualify for Section 8, you might be out of luck, as HUD has certain guidelines regarding what it means to be a family. You could be single, or you might be a part of a group of people that has children, or one or more people in the group has a disability.

2. Your Income Level

In order to qualify for Section 8, your family income needs to be less than a certain amount. This amount is set by HUD and changes from year to year. It is also dependent upon which state and which county you live in.

The income levels are broken down into three groups including low, very low, and extremely low. The less your income, the more you may be eligible to receive. Every source of income must be included when applying for Section 8. Besides earned wages, this income includes child support, alimony, retirement funds, and lottery winnings.

3. Your Citizenship Status

You need to be an American citizen in order to qualify for Section 8. However, some eligible immigrants may also qualify. If you are an immigrant, you will need to supply the appropriate Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) documents that prove your immigrant status. You will also need to sign a document that states you have eligible immigration status.

4. Your Eviction History

If you have been evicted from a previous residence for certain reasons, including drug-related criminal activity, or you have been convicted of producing methamphetamine, you most likely won't qualify for Section 8.

You must meet all four of these stipulations in order to qualify for Section 8. If you have an eligible family status, you have not been evicted for drug-related activities, you meet the income guidelines, but you are not an American citizen, or have an eligible immigrant status, you will not qualify. If you don't qualify, there are many low income apartment complexes that charge an affordable amount of rent.