Vouchers - 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.
Currently, Project-Based Vouchers are offered at the following sites:
- FirCrest Manor - 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units located in Beaverton, Oregon. Residents pay rent based on income.
- Bonita Villa/Colonies Apartments - 1 and 2 bedroom units located in Tigard, Oregon. Residents pay rent based on income. Preference is given to households in the Bridges to Housing program.
- Tom Brewer House - Drug-free housing located in Beaverton, Oregon. Single Room Occupancy (also called "SRO", a room for a single person with shared bathroom and kitchen), studio and 1 bedroom units. Residents pay rent based on income. Preference given to applicants with a special need for substance abuse and/or mental health services.
- PLUSS Apartments - Single Room Occupancy (also called "SRO", a room for a single person with shared bathroom and kitchen). Units are located in Tigard, Oregon. Residents pay rent based on income. Preference given to applicants with a special need for mental health services.
- Housing TEAM - 1 bedroom units throughout Washington County. Residents pay rent based upon their income, and must rent a pre-determined unit. To be eligible for Housing TEAM, applicants must be chronically homeless (persons with a disabling condition who have been homeless for 12 months or more, or have experienced at least 4 episodes of homelessness in the last three years). Preference is given to applicants with a special need for mental health services.
- The Knoll Apartments - 1 bedroom apartments for chronically homeless individuals (single persons with a disabling condition who have been homeless for at least 12 months continuously or 4 times in the last three years). Preference for Veterans with a need for Veterans Services. Located in Tigard, Oregon. Residents pay rent based on income. Age 55+, only.
- Alma Gardens - 1 bedroom apartments located in Hillsboro, Oregon. Age 55+.
To apply for any of these sites, complete an Application for Rental Assistance.