Housing Choice Vouchers FAQs

What are Housing Choice Vouchers?

It is a locally managed housing assistance for low-income families or individuals funded federally. One branch is the "tenant-based" assistance or the Housing Choice Voucher program. It is where the participant gets to choose a qualified rental unit anywhere in the country. Another branch is the project-based housing assistance, where the participant still gets to choose an eligible unit, but it will be limited to those units or properties which are participating in the housing program. If the participant decides to transfer to a different location the housing assistance will stay with the property and benefit the next residents.

Note that this program will not pay for your entire rent or housing costs, rather it will help in paying your rent by covering a certain portion of it, while you as the participant will be required to pay 30% or your earnings towards rent.

In what locations can you live with Section 8?

You may apply anywhere in the country. However, if you do not currently reside in the area where you applied for, you will be required to live in that location for at least 12 months before you may be allowed to move. Additionally, if you live in the location where you applied, you can just notify the public housing agency, then you can move anywhere in the country, provided the property passes the health and safety standards set by HUD.

How will you find rental listings?

There will be helpful sites online when it comes to finding rental listings. You may also seek assistance from your local housing authority. They can provide you with a list of units or landlords who accept housing vouchers.

Paying the mortgage

Did you know that you can use your housing voucher to pay your mortgage? Provided that the housing office that manages your housing voucher is participating in HUD's Homeownership Voucher program. There are also some cases where public housing agencies authorize beneficiaries to use their housing vouchers to purchase a modest home.

Closed waiting lists

If the waiting list in your area is closed, you may also check out waiting lists from other areas. Make sure that you are okay with living in that area in case your application gets approved. There are also other housing programs by the government you can consider. To get more information, contacting your local housing agency will be best.