The HUD Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly called the Section 8 program) provides housing subsidies to very low-income persons, the elderly, and people with disabilities to help them find decent housing. Participants who receive vouchers are free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units in subsidized housing projects.
The housing vouchers are administered locally by public housing authorities (PHA). The public housing authority pays the housing subsidy directly to the landlord on behalf of the participating individual or family. The PHA determines what “reasonable rent‛ is and sets that amount. Landlords do not have to accept vouchers, but if they do they may not charge you more than the amount set by the PHA.
Landlords who accept the Section 8 housing choice vouchers are required by HUD to maintain a safe and decent living environment and charge rent at fair market rates. The rental property must meet HUD’s “housing quality standards‛ for safety and sanitation.
Call your local housing authority for information on how to apply for a housing choice voucher. To locate a public housing authority in your area, call 800-955-2232 or go online to www.hud.gov/offices/pih/pha/contacts/.