Housing Choice and Project-Based
Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program is commonly called "Section 8", or simply "Voucher".
What are Housing Choice Vouchers?
The Housing Choice Voucher Program is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments.
Who is eligible for the program?
In general, the family's income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live.
Households with members who have a criminal history including violent or drug-related criminal activity, theft, identity theft, and other crimes against persons or property may not be eligible for assistance from the program.
Families are screened for eligibility when they reach the top of the waiting list.
How does the Housing Choice Voucher Program work?
Qualified applicants are issued a Section 8 Voucher that allows them to rent from any private landlord who agrees to work with the DHS. The Voucher is portable nationwide. The tenant's portion of the rent is paid directly to the property owner or manager.
The tenant's portion of the rent is based on a "payment standard" for the bedroom size of his/her voucher. The Department's portion of the rent is the payment standard minus 30% of the tenant's adjusted monthly income. The tenant is responsible for the amount of the rent not paid by the DHS.
After the first year, the property owner can raise the rent with 60 days written notice to the tenant and the DHS.
More detailed information about the Section 8 program is available from the HUD website.
How to apply for the Housing Choice Voucher program:
The waiting list for this program closed as of September 1, 2011. At this time, it is not known when the waiting list for the Housing Choice Voucher program will re-open.
Project-Based Vouchers, just like Housing Choice Vouchers, provide rental assistance to low-income households. However, Project-Based Vouchers are linked to a specific unit at a specific site.
How do Project-Based Vouchers work?
When a Project-Based Voucher unit is available, applicants at the top of the list for that site are notified and must contact the site manager. Applicants are screened for their eligibility as tenants by the site manager and then are determined eligible for the rental assistance by the Department of Housing Services.
For more information about Project-Based Vouchers, or to apply for sites with open waiting lists, please see Applying for Assistance.
Equal Housing Opportunity