TenantsTips / USA / What are Housing Choice Vouchers?

What are Housing Choice Vouchers?

If you are finding it difficult to make ends meet and getting yourself into more and more debt, Housing Choice vouchers are available to families on low income, disabled and elderly people who cannot afford secure, sanitary and reasonable housing.

Participating in this federal government rent assistance program enables families and individuals to find apartments, single family homes and townhouses for housing.

Your Choice of Housing

The Housing Choice vouchers program, also known as Section 8 Housing, allows you to locate housing that meets all your need without being restricted to subsidized housing unit projects since you can also rent privately subject to the house being approved by the PHA.

You can get Housing Choice vouchers from PHAs (Public Housing Agencies) in your local area. These administrative agencies are funded by the HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development).

Your Responsibility to get Landlord’s Agreement

If you are already renting a property that you like and eligible to receive a housing choice voucher it is your responsibility to get the owner’s agreement to participate in this rent assistance program. If you find a new rental property it is also your responsibility to get the owner to agree to rent within the program. In all cases the accommodation must meet the PHA’s requirements in regard to the minimum health and safety standards.

No need to get into Debt

The PHA will pay this housing subsidy direct to the landlords and you will pay the balance of the rent that you have agreed with the landlord. In some cases it is possible for you to purchase a home using your voucher but this must be approved by the PHA. It’s worth checking out if you have a low income, live in less than favourable accommodation and feel that you would get into debt if you moved.

PHA Locations

To find out where your local PHA is located please checkout PHA Locations and be sure to read our article on who is eligible to receive Housing Choice Vouchers and how to apply.



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