Housing Choice Vouchers
Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Section 8 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 Section 8 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 Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program:
All rental assistance programs from the DHS have a waiting list. We are not able to estimate the wait time; however, we encourage you to apply.
Information about applying for the Voucher program is available on our Forms & Applications page.