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Housing Choice Voucher Program Quick Facts

The Housing Choice Voucher Program, also known as Section 8, is a federal government program that assists low-income families in obtaining affordable housing. Participants may select housing that meets the program's requirements and receive housing vouchers to assist with rental costs.

Are you interested in Section 8 housing? Here are five quick facts to help you understand the Housing Choice Voucher Program and find government assistance.

You can choose where you live

The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the Housing Choice Voucher Program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects. Contact your local Public Housing Agent (PHA) to learn about how to apply to the program and the requirements when looking for a house.

You can move while receiving assistance from the voucher program

The Housing Choice Voucher Program is designed to allow families to move without the loss of housing assistance. Moves are permissible if the family notifies the PHA ahead of time, terminates its existing lease within the lease provisions, and finds acceptable alternate housing.

You have responsibilities as the tenant while receiving assistance

While receiving Housing Choice Voucher Program assistance, the tenant must follow the lease and program requirements, pay its share of the rent on time, keep the unit in good condition, and notify the PHA of any changes in income or family composition.

The landlord in the voucher program must provide housing that meets the program’s standards

The landlord must provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The dwelling unit must pass the program's housing quality standards and be maintained up to those standards if the owner receives housing assistance payments. In addition, the landlord is expected to provide the services agreed to as part of the lease signed with the tenant and the contract signed with the PHA.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) covers the cost of the program

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides funds to allow PHAs to make housing assistance payments on behalf of the families. HUD also pays the PHA a fee for the costs of administering the program. When additional funds become available to assist new families, HUD invites PHAs to submit applications for funds for additional housing vouchers. 

How do I obtain these benefits?

Individuals with mortgage or rent payments, as well as those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, have been impacted by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Contact your local PHA to apply for the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

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