Understanding HUD Screening Criteria

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Housing assistance is one of the key ways that the government’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) department helps underprivileged people find opportunity. With a hard-hit economy and limited resources, however, it’s not always easy to make sure that options like Section 8 housing go to the most deserving individuals. In order to narrow down applications, the agency uses particular standards to determine eligibility.


Understanding these HUD screening criteria is vital for anyone seeking assistance. It allows you to anticipate possible denials and set yourself up for success when applying. Many housing applicants, however, aren’t even fully aware of what can disqualify them when they sit down to go through the process.


Likewise, property owners who participate in government programs need to know when they have the right to deny an applicant who might be a danger to their community. To help individuals on both ends, VeriScreen put together a simple guide to a few of the most critical HUD screening criteria used today.


Potential Grounds for Denial

Though the complete set of regulations HUD uses are complex, there are four basic reasons one can prohibit an individual or family from living in government-assisted housing:


  • Drug-related activity. Engaging in illicit drug use is both illegal and a danger to other residents. As such, no property owner can be expected to allow this kind of activity from residents.
  • Violent criminal activity. For obvious reasons, it’s important to maintain a community free from criminal violence.
  • Other criminal activity that would threaten the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of other residents.
  • Other criminal activity that would threaten the health or safety of the owner or any employee, contractor, subcontractor, or agent working for them.


Essentially, reasonable suspicion of illegal behavior that puts people in the building at risk can be grounds for denial. Though many nuances exist, the bedrock of these rules is the safety of all involved. VeriScreen can help you understand more complex situations that may require special attention to specific HUD screening criteria.


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