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 helps low-income families, individuals, seniors and people with disabilities pay their monthly rent in privately owned apartments or houses.
Who is eligible for the program?
In general, the family's income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county where the family chooses to live.
Households with members who have a criminal history including Meth production in a public housing program or Life-Time Sex Offender status 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 Housing Choice Voucher that allows them to rent from any private landlord who agrees to work with the local Public Housing Authority(PHA). 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 their voucher. The Department's portion of the rent is the payment standard minus 30%-40% of the tenant's adjusted monthly income. The tenant is responsible for the amount of the rent not paid by the PHA.
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 Housing Choice Voucher program is available from the HUD website.
How to apply for the Housing Choice Voucher program?
The most recent Housing Choice Voucher waitlist application window closed on August 4, 2021. Future waitlist application opportunities will be announced as they become available on our website and monthly e-newsletter, which you can sign up to here. You can also create an applicant account to receive an e-mail notification.
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.