What You Should Know About Housing Choice Vouchers

Administered by local housing authorities, each of them has various requirements and choices. Contact your local housing office to find out more about specific requirements.

Serving low-income tenants in the U.S., Housing Choice Voucher program pays the balance of a rent payment which is above 30% of the tenant's monthly income. Rental units must be inspected and approved by local housing authorities. Rental amount too high? You need not worry because the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sets a Fair Market Rent, and the rent price of any unit must be below the set amount.

Federal budget cuts have made it possible for waiting lists to get longer, and some of them are even closed. This is part of the reason why tenants will have to wait longer

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How To Apply for Section 8 Assistance

In general, the larger the population in an area is, the longer, the waiting lists are. So exactly how long until you can get one? In some places the wait can be as short as a few months, in others, it may take years. When you decide to apply for one, consider the location as well.

The application

In some areas, the application for Section 8 vouchers is available online. All you need to do is create a free online account, fill up the application and send the document requirements. Another way to do it is to go directly to a public housing agency. You can also request for them to be sent to you through the mail. Remember that all applications must be acquired, filled-up, and submitted according to your public housing agency's instructions.

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Housing Choice Voucher Roles and Obligations

Got your housing choice voucher? Were you able to find a house or apartment for your household? If you already have, it's time to have it inspected by your local Public Housing Agency (PHA). Once they approve the property, you can now sign a lease with the property owner. Did you know that for the same terms as your lease with the landlord, the PHA has to sign a housing assistance payments contract with the landlord as well? These documents mean that everyone from the Public Housing Agency, tenant, and landlord, have duties and responsibilities under the housing voucher program.

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